Theater professionals build six-sided dream house in Catskill

Kelly C. Gamble

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CATSKILL – As a boy, John Sowle had a recurring aspiration about a hexagonal household. It was a fantastical spot with six wings extending from the center and a secret doorway that went down to an underground lake with an island in the middle.

Decades later, when Sowle experienced the option to design and style his possess property, he introduced the aspiration to existence.

Sowle is a retired info technologies professor, producer and director. Sowle and his partner, actor Steven Patterson, founded a theater organization, Kaliyuga Arts, in 1986. They focus in avant-garde, edgy, experimental contemporary function. In pursuit of their art, they’ve moved all over and rented a loft completed in redwood at the rear of the San Francisco’s 1st union hall.

When they moved east to a 400-square-foot apartment in a co-op in Manhattan in 2003, the gentlemen desired a place to retail store the accoutrements of their lives collectively earning theater: quite a few props, established parts, an art selection, furniture and hundreds of books. Patterson, who was raised in California, remembered fondly the time he put in in Lexington, Greene County, doing summer season theater in 1977. He prompt seeking in the area for a area to retail outlet their matters. The couple found 10 acres off Route 47 in Catskill. The land had a shed, suitable for storage and sufficient for a couple of right away stays. Like the condominium in Manhattan, it was 400 square feet but in a wildly distinctive placing.

It was not Sowle and Patterson’s intention to go to Catskill whole time, but the extra time they used in the place, the more time they preferred to spend there.

“I love the nation and it was constantly in the again of my thoughts to have a household in the region,” Sowle stated.

Height would give them a layered check out of mountains in the length. They lower as few trees as feasible. A few of trees stand just inches absent from the railing of the deck. At the time, whilst Sowle was operating at his desk, he looked up to see a black bear clambering onto it. The adult males inspire bats to rest in the exterior nooks and crannies of the roof overhang.

The uncommon style and design presented a challenge for community craftsmen – specially drywall installers. No segment of ceiling is particularly alike. Craig Nowak Contracting from Hudson was the general contractor.


The 1,800-square-foot residence was crafted all-around 16 poles, with 6 in the center extending into the tower. The wrap-close to deck is cantilevered. The spiral staircase in between the next and third ranges of the dwelling was a tailor made order, built in Wisconsin and sent in pieces. There’s a 360-degree perspective of the forest from the tower, where friends slumber and a dancing Shiva presides. Residing room – a kitchen, a rest room and a bed room are like spokes on a wheel on the 2nd stage.

The home took about a year to establish. The gentlemen moved in 2008 and purchased the creating in downtown Catskill that would develop into Bridge Road Theatre in 2013.

“You do not construct a hexagonal household to conserve cash,” Sowle said.

When it was new, Patterson said, the vibrant coloration of the fresh new cedar on the exterior built the spherical property appear as even though a UFO experienced landed in the woods. The cedar has given that weathered and the dwelling appears to be like like it belongs nestled in the forest. The gentlemen share the house with Cleopatra, a massive and shaggy cat with Maine coon lineage.

The gentlemen have attempted and supplied up increasing vegetables for the reason that it was an workout mostly for the profit of deer. They however mature flowers and bought another piece of property adjacent to theirs to grow their privateness. The drinking water function Sowle dreamed of as a kid is there, much too, but outdoors, in which the gentlemen can hear to a gurgling waterfall from inside of their six-sided dwelling. 

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