Upon purchasing an old house, you become stewards of that building—preserving, restoring, and maintaining the authenticity of the structure for future generations. But what do you do when all or half of the original structure has been severely altered over the years, rendering a characterless shell? Why, you create a new old house, of course. This is precisely what Bob and Suzanne Griffiths chose to do with their Greek Revival farmhouse that had gone through some pretty unappealing changes over the years.
Gertrude Stein once wrote, “A house in the country is not the same as a country house.” It is a subtle distinction that architect John B. Murray can appreciate. Shortly after founding his New York-based architectural firm, John B. Murray Architect, LLC, in 1997, Murray and his family were seeking just the sort of country house Stein had in mind.
It may be true that “the devil is in the details,” but when Manhattan architect Gil Schafer III began planning his new weekend house in Dutchess County, New York, he knew that selecting architecturally appropriate details for his chosen American Greek Revival design was just one of many necessities.