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Borden Home Farm & Condensary

Communities

Borden Home Farm & Condensary
Ulster & Orange Counties, New York

The nineteenth century Borden Home Farm, home of John Gail Borden, was designed to create a beautiful agrarian landscape in the traditions of ornamental farms, while maintaining a technologically advanced, productive farm operation. During the Borden era, the farm historically encompassed 1800 acres, containing agricultural fields, pastures, orchards, forests, streams, ponds, tree-lined roads, stone gateposts, and scenic views beyond to the surrounding Shawangunk and Catskill Mountains and the Hudson Highlands. Many of these patterns developed during the Borden family tenure remain on the landscape today. However, development pressure threatened the bucolic landscape, with the proposal of a single-family residential community and dormitory situated near the Borden House. Two technical assistance grants were secured to aid in the understanding of the potential impact.

A review of available historic information, mapping, proposed development plans, and site visits provided the basis for assessing the extant historic resources and making preservation and conservation decisions. Recommendations outlined directions for further research, preservation planning studies, and action initiatives. Funding was secured to pursue additional research, which enabled the research team to produce a report documenting each ownership period and the sale of properties. An intensive field investigation identified remaining historic fabric and character-defining elements for the property, and the alignment, width and character of historic roads were catalogued. The report served as a baseline for understanding and protecting this cultural landscape and continues to be used by the community in planning future initiatives to further recognize and preserve the Borden legacy.

 

Client:
Preservation League of New York State, Historical Society of Shawangunk and Gardiner, and Town of Shawangunk

Projects:
Development Proposal Technical Assistance, Existing Historic Component and Character Documentation, Landscape Preservation Recommendations & Public Presentation, 1990-1992

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects, Charles Birnbaum and Barbara Wilson