CONFERENCES & SYMPOSIA: Past Symposia
Vernacular Architecture of the Hudson Valley/Catskill Regions of New York State
Co-sponsored by the Huguenot Historical Society
The New York Folklore Society co-sponsored a forum on aspects of vernacular architecture in the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions of New York State with the Huguenot Historical Society in New Paltz, New York, on Saturday, November 9.
Presenting was Neil Larson discussing stone houses in Ulster County; Jack Braunlein, Director of the Huguenot Society, discussing the Huguenot structures listed on the National Register and conducting a tour of the site; Nancy Solomon speaking on the methodology of studying vernacular architecture; and Peter Sinclair speaking about the work of the Society for the Preservation of Hudson Valley Architecture and the Dutch Barn Preservation Society.
The forum was successful with a very attentive crowd of people from local historical societies; a researcher from the State Museum in Albany; an archaeologist working on the Fort Orange site (one of the original settlements near Albany); several well known musicians; Lee Haring, past president of the New York Folklore Society; and many other folklore enthusiasts.
The presentations were exceptional. Nancy Solomon gave an overview of the folklore perspective to the study of vernacular architecture. Neil Larson, long known as probably the best material studies researcher in the state, explained the history of the stone houses of Ulster County, including interesting details about dating techniques for structures. Peter Sinclair described the extensive documentation and reconstruction of several houses in the Hudson Valley. Jack Braunlein, past president of the New York Folklore Society, student of Louis Jones and Bruce Buckley, best known for his extensive field research in Madison County, described the Huguenot structures in great detail and led a tour of several of the houses, some parts of which have been dated by tree ring samples as built in the 1680s.
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