Upstate NY Mid Century Modern | Orange County Real Estate

Posted by Amy Wallace on Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 at 5:19pm




In Campbell Hall, a small Hamlet of Orange County, next door to an upscale boutique condominium complex called Blackburn Farm, down the road from golf and horseback riding, and just an hour from the city, is an authentic piece of mid-century real estate, a true bit of Americana; “The House”.

We’re living through a time when mid-century modern style is so hip that the label is being slapped on any house or piece of furniture that happened to be built during the mid-1900’s regardless of whether the characteristics are in congress with the definition of mid-century style. Here are those characteristics according to all-knowing Wikepedia:              

  • ample windows
  • open floor plans
  • functionality that is equally important to the form
  • Using post and beam design to eliminated the need for support walls to make way for walls seemingly made of glass.
  • targeting the needs of the average american family

“The Ottaway House” at 85 State Route 416 in Campbell hall is 100% deserving of the Mid-Century Modern label.





#1. The Ample Windows

Everywhere you turn in this house you have a view outside. The atrium style entry has a wall of windows that look out on an exterior courtyard complete with a a drop-dead fabulous sculptural staircase. A few steps down and you're in the living room. It's a huge space with two fireplaces bookending each side of the room. Then there's the wall of windows that runs parallel to the entry windows creating the ultimate feeling of expanse one can expect while still being indoors. Glass doors from the living room lead out to the stone patio. The dining room is equally open and has gorgeous hand-painted mid-century wallpaper that has to be seen to be appreciated. It is at once calming and enchanting.



#2. The Kitchen Passthrough (and other small details)

The kitchen passthrough is one of the tiniest features of the home but it speaks to the mid-century emphasis on function. There's a small passthrough betwen the living room and the kitchen to negate the need to walk through the dining room carrying drinks and hors d'ouvres for guests being entertained in the living room. It's incredibly handy. Also in the living room is a hi-fi system built into the ample bookshelves that are perfectly positioned for functionality without sacrificing style. If they were to get a little messy (as large bookshelves are want to do), the mess would not pull visual focus in the large open space. So smart! Restore the hi-fi to its original glory and you'll have built-in perfection




#3. The Kitchen 

This kitchen is cool. Not only is there a built in round table set before yet another wall of windows and surrounded by that mid-century staple, tulip chairs! But, there are some features I've never seen before in a kitchen. Integrated into the original laminate countertops are large circular areas of mosaic tile. Built in hotplates! Many kitchen designers agree that a u-shaped layout is the most efficient for cooking and this u-shape has enough room for more than one cook. Suspended shelves surround the tile covered range hood to create a sculptural element in an otherwise super-clean space. Whether you decide to keep the kitchen mid-century authentic or move it into this melinium, the layout is great!




#4. The Family Room

At the top of the staircase is my favorite room in the house. The family room has three walls of windows and has a birds-eye view of the back yard, the front yard, and the driveway. This is a room made for hanging out in total coziness. There's a beautiful hand painted mural, a fantastic asymmetrical fireplace and another built in stereo system with a spot for a tv. I love that it's down an open hall from the bedrooms and that it provides another space to entertain, just in a different way. Quiet types can read by a fire in the family room while the more outgoing can dance in the living room OR make use of #5.




#5. The Indoor Pool

This pool is fab! It's nice and deep, surrounded by yet more windows and the post and beam ceiling has a unique scalloped structure which has to be seen to be appreciated. Off the pool is a changing room/bathroom combo that can accomodate a crowd while offering some privacy. This is a home that knows how to have a good time. 

A house with this much mid-century style could only have been owned by a mid-century mover and shaker. The house was built in 1962 by James Ottaway a newspaper man. Ottaway Group owned 19 daily newspapers and 16 weeklies before it was sold to Dow Jones & Company and James Ottaway became a member of the Board of Directors. During the 1970's he served as the Director of the Associated Press and was a founder of The American Press Institute. 

If mid-century style is what you're looking for then you need look no further. Oh! And there's a bonus!




#6. Maintenance

Maintenance of the property is included through HOA fees leaving commuters or weekenders with no maintenance worries. Just an hour from the city you can come home to mid-century perfection whenever you like without ever partaking in that mid-century passtime, mowing the lawn.

(Vintage Ad 1955 Beer Belongs Home life in America Series "Showing Off The New Power Mower" illustration by Fred Siebel)



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