HVVA NEWSLETTER, November 2005, Part 3
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HVVA Newsletters

From the Editor...The Month has been filled with lots of meetings and selling our newly published book and the Dutch Barn Preservation Society Barn Calendars for 2006. The book has not yet gotten much media coverage or reviews, but sales have been brisk and response encouraging.

At a meeting of the Lower Hudson Conference in Pouchkeepsie, Dutchess County, the publishers of The Hudson River Valley Review had a table with back issues for sale. This book-size, 6x9-inch, soft-cover bi-annual journal is now published by Marist College. (*) The issues are filled with interesting writing and illustrations but an article in the Autumn 2004 Architecture issue by Walter Wheeler, that is filled with contracts and documentary references, seems especially important in understanding the development of the gambrel roof in the Upper Hudson Valley, with relevance to the Mid Hudson.

Wheeler writes that the first gambrel roof in The Upper Valley was the 1714-1716 Episcopal Church in Albany, constructed by John Dunbar a Boston builder, who later moved to Schenectady where he built a Dutch Reformed Church in 1734 with a gambrel roof. It was from these prominent public buildings that its style spread to the upper class Dutch and eventually to the tenant farmers of the countryside. The author distinguishes two framing systems, (**)> the English "queen-post purlin" form and the later Dutch system, the "plank purlin".

There were evidently a number of framing designs developed, probably many hybrids, but they seem to fall into two categories. The subject needs better study and documentation with measured drawings.

(*) for information write:

Hudson River Valley Institute, Marist College, 3399 North Road, Pouchkeepsie, NY 12601-1387

(**) "queen-post purlin" and 'plank purlin' are the editor's terms.

Peter Sinclair, Editor West Hurley, Ulster County, NY

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