As the last frost in the Catskills gave way to the annual spring parade of snow drops, daffodils and mayflowers, The Catskill Project eagerly joined in the new season celebrations. We held an Open House at the property earlier in May and couldn’t have been happier and more encouraged with the outcome. One uncontrollable variable was the weather. Early May can be, shall we say, highly variable in the mountains, with snow squalls not entirely out of the question at this time of the year. However, our constant checking of the forecast during the week prior to the Saturday in question must have worked; with the forecast looking barely passable all week, it suddenly changed on Friday to all sun and temperature in the mid-60s. And so on Saturday our guests came to our model house, the Balsam, bathed in the sun, with hiking trails dry and ready for our boots, the waterfalls were gushing with their signature spring flow.
And what an impressive showing it was! Around 80 people made the journey, sometimes from quite afar, reflecting the healthy and growing interest in our project. Faith Kelly and Caswyn Moon returned to The Catskill Project to serenade our guests with live music, craft beer from Upward Brewing Company flowed, local bites from The Neon Croissant and The Walk In went down with relish. Our partners at Bensonwood spoke about Tektoniks, their unique panelized technology deployed at The Catskill Project, Greg Hale gave an update on the evolving legislative and regulatory framework for decarbonizing the built environment in New York (did you know that as of January 1, 2026 all newly built houses will have to be all-electric in New York?) and Buck Moorhead answered all sorts of enthusiastic questions about passive house designed homes in general, and our portfolio of passive houses in particular.
And who can imagine a better advocate for a passive house and The Catskill Project! So it happened that the next week we learned that Buck Moorhead Architect was awarded the Best Architect 2023 in The River Reporter’s Readers’ Choice 2022 awards. While entirely unsurprising it is a phenomenal recognition of Buck and Remy Moorhead’s leadership in the sector. The father-daughter duo works tirelessly to serve their clients in New York City and the Upper Delaware River Valley while decarbonizing the building stock through whole-system energy retrofits and developing a new paradigm of emissions reductions in newly constructed single-family homes at The Catskill Project. The rest of the team feels excited and privileged to be turning their ideas and concepts into reality. The future of living has well and truly arrived in the Catskills.
Their most recent, hot-off-the-drawing board development is a new model for The Catskill Project. We always intended to introduce additional designs to our three currently available. The time for the first addition has arrived, and it did so in the form of ‘Red Hill’, a barn-style beauty paying homage to a local architectural vernacular of the Catskills. But while it is at first glance different from the first three, it does fit The Catskill Project narrative. There are soaring ceilings once you are inside, the main siding option is raw hemlock and, of course, and it is designed to a passive house standard with solar panels to achieve net-zero emissions handily. Our new model, Red Hill, also tips its hat to our beloved Catskills, being named after another regional fire tower. We have one more Catskill fire tower left which can lend its name, so stay tuned for a possible fifth design. In the meantime, welcome to our carbon-neutral community, Red Hill! We can’t wait to show you to our clients.