The Haring House is the most visible element of the preserve, standing between the meadow below and the hill above. It boasts a lovely narrow interior full of light, with living spaces on the ground floor and bedrooms on the second floor. It is built with intricate brickwork and a beautifully stepping slate roof. Despite some expected degradation in the interior, it is in sound condition.
Though the building remains closed to the public, the front patio has already become an informal gathering space for visitors to congregate and relax. It is natural that the farm’s private home would become the new preserve’s public space, where people might gather, linger, eat, learn and meet.
The interior of the house has a lovely quality of light and air. Though the finishes are damaged from age and neglect, the space could easily be reinvented as a space for public gathering.
By removing interior partitions and opening the first floor into a large open cafe and meeting space, it becomes a joint between the east and west of the site, connecting the hill to the meadow with a space of public gathering.
The cafe and meeting room connect to the terrace, which is expanded and formalized to become a public plaza overlooking the meadow.
The second floor of the house is made up of many rooms, with beautiful details and bright colors. It is a bit like a museum in itself, and calls less for reinvention than celebration of its intimate scale.
The second floor’s small spaces are an open canvas, to be developed alongside the preserve’s programming. They naturally lend themselves to its educational mission, and could easily serve as classrooms, non-profit offices, a library, or a space for after-school activities.
Sloping down to the house from the west is an open field of wildflowers, populated by a winding path with benches built of lumber from the preserve itself. The circle in front of the house is reoccupied with a small reflecting pool, and doors of the house, mirroring the house’s new windows, doors, and porch.