CAN THIS HOUSE BE SAVED: Fairview Manor, Claverack, New York

The fabulous Kelly of Old House Dreams posted a remarkable property. And it is soooooooooo a Ross kinda property.

The 1869 main house is absurdly huge, and in terrifying condition. You see, just my kinda place.


Fairview Manor, looking good.


Fairview Manor, looking less than its best. All the porches are gone, including the one above the bay (right). I would reinstate all these. STAT! The red roofs all look they have been replaced, and their dramatic cornices are missing.


There is a second tower!


Which has been decapitated. This, too, would get reinstated.


The glorious entry doors are intact. I ache, ACHE, to restore these.


There are few interior images. It was reported that a fire damaged much of the interior but I am not buying this. Fire does NOT consume plaster while leaving wood intact. Also, in a serious fire, stairwells act like flues and wood staircases are the first to go. So, while the house may have had a fire at some point (my Cross House has had at least two fires, and with no visible damage), the interior, at least from the limited images available, show a glorious intact stair, glorious tall arched doors, and intact trim.


The property was owned for almost twenty years by the artist Mihail Chemiakin, and several of his works grace the grounds. I had never heard of Chemiakin but LOVE his work!




The property includes numerous structures in addition to the big house, such as what appears to be a former playhouse converted into a studio. The town is two hours from New York City, up the Hudson.

Almost 12 acres, and all yours for $1.7M. I have no idea what the Chemiakin pieces would be valued at.

My ideal would to live in such a house while maintaining a small apartment in Manhattan. The best of both worlds.

NOTE: Here is Part II.



  1. Gregory Hubbard on June 5, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Ross, send me reminders so I do not forget to send copies of the slides to you. My back operation is scheduled for July 24th, and there will be 6 weeks of recovery – I put off having the operation because my mother was in her 80’s, and couldn’t manage on her own.
    She died late last fall, so now I can take care of some issues. The attack ruined my knees, wrists shoulders and elbows. I’ll try to stop at the knees. Sorry – It’s not my intention to bore you, just letting you know I will require reminders.
    My e-mail, just in case you’re really interested in those slides:

    [email protected]

    I’d really love to ‘buy back’ the just posted Hubbard house, but that ‘exotic’ house in Oxford, New York is still my favorite. I just have to figure how to earn money in a tiny New York state town, not near much of anything.
    Your knowledge and work are impressive. Keep at it!

  2. Karen Spencer on June 5, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Ross, I live in NY, about 1.5 hours from this house. I share your taste and your passion for old houses and restoration. I have a life long dream of living in and restoring a big old house and wandering through the house coming upon rooms that I had not found before. I so want to do that. I would LOVE to buy this house with you. I just don’t have the $1.7 right now. Playing the lottery and saving. Maybe, just maybe…

  3. Mischa McCormick on June 6, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Ross,

    This was my childhood home. My parents bought the property in 1968 and ran a small boarding school there. We sold the property to Chemiakin in 1987 or 1988. It was an amazing place to grow up. I can assure that there was a large fire that did extensive damage. The new owner hired workers to strip the old paint from the front of the building and they set it on fire. The fire department is directly across the street but rather than tell anyone, they workers ran. By the time it was noticed, it was too late. Such a waste. I have a few pictures from our time there. Let me know if you have any interest in seeing them. I tried posting to Old House Dreams but it won’t let me register.
    Mischa McCormick

    • Cindy Belanger on June 7, 2019 at 7:22 pm

      Mischa, I would love to see the pictures you have of the house, as I’m sure a lot of readers would. Please post them. Thanks

      • Ross on June 7, 2019 at 7:32 pm

        Your wish has been granted, Cindy.

        See here.

        • Cindy Belanger on June 7, 2019 at 7:35 pm

          Thanks Ross, I hadn’t seen the 2nd post when I wrote my comment. I was wondering why there weren’t any posts from you in awhile, thought you were busy, busy. Now I know why and glad the problem is being worked on.

    • John Zimmerman, Jr. on June 25, 2020 at 1:49 pm

      Mischa, I sent Ross a note with my email and hopefully he will put us in touch. I taught for part of 1972 at the school, and have pictures of you and many others which I am willing to share. I don’t have many of architectural interest that the readers of this column will be interested in, but some they might. Several are the children playing on that grand stairway so I have some details of them. Others are in the yard, swingset, with the horses, your fathers (Bobby wasn’t it?) old beater pickup truck full of firewood and all of us unloading it. I hope Ross gets us communicating. I have thought often of all of you and wondered what had become of you as you grew up. (of course I was growing up to as I was only 18 when I was there and am now in my late 60’s) . John

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