By Anthony F. Hall
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Rich and Diane Hyman spent fifteen years looking throughout the United States and Canada for the perfect place to build a home.
“We wanted easy access to an airport, and to arts and culture; we knew we wanted something in the mountains,” says Rich Hyman, a retired IBM executive.
“I fell in love with a photo of Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Topridge when I was 12 years old; I wanted something like that,” says Rich’s wife Diane.
“We knew we would find it somewhere, someday; we just didn’t expect to find it on top of a mountain above a thirty two mile long lake,” says Rich.
The spot they found, and where they built a house, is situated high enough for them to see the north and south basins of Lake George, as well as Vermont and the Champlain Valley. Watching the fireworks shows staged in Bolton Landing and Lake George Village, they look down, not up.
If the house isn’t visible from the lake, it’s because it was sited properly and because local contractor Bruce Mowery built it in such a way that it merges with its wooded background.
With an exterior influenced by shingle style houses native to both the west and east coasts and well as great camps like Topridge, the 7.936 sq ft house is now for sale at a list price of $3.9 million.
Like most houses at that price point, it contains amenities (or necessities, depending upon your point of view) such as a wine cellar and tasting room, a swimming pool and a one bedroom pool house, a six car heated garage and a professional chef’s kitchen.
To gain access, you must pass through gates opened electronically from the house. Once at the house, though, you’ll understand its appeal. The porches, patios, decks and light filled rooms are all positioned to take advantage of the dizzying views.
“When I first saw the view, I was dumbstruck, I couldn’t believe the property was for sale,” said Rich. “Anything we’d ever seen that was remotely like this site was owned by a government or a church.”
The Hymans, who were working with Frank McDonald of McDonald Real Estate Professionals, immediately purchased the three adjoining lots so theirs would be the only house on the mountain top.
“It was three years before we could even start building,” said Diane. “The old logging road was impassable; we had to build our own road and pay for the utility poles and lines.”
The Hymans were living in Connecticut at the time they purchased the property. Although the southern Adirondacks had practically everything they wanted in a region, they had never heard of Lake George.
“It seems odd, in retrospect, because everyone we meet has heard of Lake George,” says Diane. “But a girl who worked in my real estate office said we should look for a house here; she had visited it as a child.”
The Hymans booked a room at the Sagamore and visited the lake one winter. Like many before them, they fell in love.
“It was beautiful and pristine; there was no one on the roads,” says Diane. “I felt we were meant to be here.”
(Re-enforcing that feeling was the discovery that an 18th century powderhorn she had inherited was carved on Lake George in 1758. Had an ancestor been stationed at Fort George, just a few miles up the lake?)
The Hymans are selling the house and property because they’ve undertaken a new project, building a post and beam house in New Hampshire. But it’s unlikely they’ll ever forget the viiews they once had of Lake George.
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