Every old home needs an advocate. A special someone who understands and cares about the details, the history, and the sense of place inherent in a period home. Those advocates may save that home from the wrecking ball or the vinyl siding salesman or the addition that would look better on a gas station. Two of those advocates are David and Nan Greenwood.

Their home is in Hart’s Village just outside of the Village of Millbrook. Philip Hart built his home in 1800 and the village of Hartsville grew around his home and mills. A very early industrialist Mr. Hart owned a gristmill, a sawmill and a fulling(a step in the production of wool cloth) mill. The wood framed home is a stunning example of a center hall Federal design.

Philip Hart’s family in 1889 added a porch to the rear of the home. The first floor was open, off the center hall, and the second-floor porch was screened in and used by the Harts’ daughter-in-law, who suffered from tuberculosis. The family believed she’d be cured if she got plenty of rest and fresh air out on the porch. The porch is now used as a place to retreat and read, a perch to view the property or an outdoor summer bedroom as originally designed.

Nan and David bought the home in 1984; they immediately began a pain staking restoration of the interior and exterior of the home including the rear porch. The Greenwoods have furnished the home with period antiques and art work giving the home a most comfortable and beautiful style.

By Published On: July 26th, 2009Categories: Porches7 CommentsTags: , , , ,

About the Author: James Crisp

James M. Crisp has been an architect for well over 30 years. His architectural firm, Crisp Architects, designs projects throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In April of 2007, Taunton Press published 'On the Porch' by James M. Crisp and Sandra Mahoney.

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7 Comments

  1. Connie Price October 10, 2012 at 11:04 am

    What a wonderful surprise to see the home where my “maternal” side “HART” of my family resided. A nice addition to add to my family tree. Thanks for the story and keeping the house beautiful.

  2. James Crisp October 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    That is so neat! I’ll pass your e-mail address on to the current owners, I am sure they would love to talk to you.

  3. John Hurley September 25, 2018 at 12:30 am

    So nice to see the Greenwoods enjoying the House by the Glen. I was a longtime friend of the previous family who were the stewards of the Hart House for over 20 years. They were promised that the new owners would restore it to its original glory and I can attest it was. Giving credit where due, the previous owners found the Hart House with failing ceilings; out of commission bathrooms and a long outdated kitchen. As a family of growing children and dual career commitments, the
    restraint of “renovation” on details of an eighteenth century home made daily life much less modern. The Donatos knew and appreciated the living history that they resided.
    We would laugh every time we climbed the massive marble steps leading up to the front porch. They had fallen out of plumb generations earlier but they were meant to be the way they were — uneven and sloping left to right. They were perfect.

  4. James Crisp September 25, 2018 at 7:11 am

    Thanks for your memory.

  5. Jeff Hansen October 13, 2020 at 12:21 am

    This is the house that my mother grew up in. I have a newspaper article talking about the house. She talked about the sleeping porch and the summer nights sleeping there. Her maiden name was Otis – her father was John Hunting Otis and her mom was Lucille Martindill – the singer.

  6. James Crisp October 13, 2020 at 6:32 am

    That is great! I guess that means you have met the Greenwoods who are friends of mine. They have taken very good care of that home and really love it.

  7. Jeff Hansen October 13, 2020 at 11:05 am

    I met them when I took Mom back to see the house maybe 3-4 years ago – she was able to tell them a whole lot about where things were, what was in each room, etc. They were so gracious in showing us the house and letting us walk through it and what used to be the garage (now an apartment). It was neat watching my mom with her memories of growing up there 75 years ago. She was surprised that there had been an elevator installed in the front hallway but we were told that was going to be removed in trying to get the house back to its original form.

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