Bernard Maybeck projects: a map
some things are beyond our control

Crow House named to National Register of Historic Places

American ceramicist and painter Henry Varnum Poor's Rockland NY home - known semi-affectionately as "crow house," after the birds that harassed Poor during the construction of the structure - has been added to the NRHP. Oddly, the town that hosts it - Clarkstown NY - either refused or was unable to purchase it themselves, so a neighbor (either richer or more interested in historic preservation), the town of Ramapo, is in the process of buying it from current owner Arthur Wagner. Wagner bought it a year ago from Peter Poor, son of the artist, for $1.15 million; let's hope he didn't feel a need to make a profit off the public by selling it at a huge mark-up.

The brick home includes some interesting Tudor and castle-like features, including archways, circular stairways, exposed beams, and plenty of hand-crafted furniture made specifically for the site. According to visitors, the hand-made ceramic doorknobs, tiled windowsills and other stone and ceramic inlays are especially attractive; all the decorative ceramics were made by Poor specifically for this project at a kiln on the property. Much of the furniture is American Arts & Crafts.

The New York Times ran an article in 2006 on the race to save the building, which Wagner originally planned to destroy; it includes several photographs.

photo courtesy of the Preservation League of New York State