Part of the charm of the hamlet is found in its old houses. Located most frequently along major roads, these structures often undergo extensive renovations in keeping with the original design.
The mission of the Landmarks Advisory Committee in the Town of New Castle is to identify buildings and sites steeped in history. This information is then utilized by the Board of Architectural Review, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals, when considering applications by home and property owners.
When Gray Williams, Town Historian and Chair of the Landmarks Advisory Committee, toured the majestic blue grey home at 300 Quaker Road, he posed his usual question: “Can I go to the basement?” In his estimation, the best way to determine the age of a building is by examining the basement and the attic. Here, he found a very shallow cellar and a very steep staircase on the upper level, definitive characteristics of old homes. The committee asked the homeowner whether they would be interested in having the house added to the landmarks list. When they responded in the affirmative, a letter was submitted to Town Supervisor Susan Carpenter and the house was subsequently accorded landmark status by the Town Board.
This Italianate home is steeped in the ancestry of the hamlet. It has been owned by several families including the Reynolds and the Keelers. Another owner was Isaiah Williams, Horace Greeley’s lawyer.
Homeowners are often interested in receiving this designation. “They know it has been acknowledged and vetted by the town,” Williams noted. “That makes it more attractive.”
Jean Baker, the selling agent for the home at Houlihan Lawrence, concurred: “It gives you a sense of character and roots.