Volunteers Pitch in to Complete Renovation of Somers' Reynolds House

Construction crews were installing siding on the Reynolds House on Tuesday morning. Credits: Brian Marschhauser
Melissa Gambino jumps for joy after a recent tour of the Reynolds House. Credits: Somers Land Trust
The Somers Land Trust is raising funds for the renovation of the Reynolds House, pictured in August 2016. Credits: File Photo
A side view of the Reynolds House, pictured in July 2013. Credits: File Photo
The Reynolds House, pictured in September 2013, will be restored to its 18th century glory. Credits: File Photo
Pictured in July 2013: Mike Lubchenko, Somers Land Trust president Michael Barnhart, John Orr and Somers Land Trust member-at-large Bob MacGregor, also chair of the Projects Committee Credits: File Photo

SOMERS, N.Y. - A renovation of the exterior of the Reynolds House is expected to be completed by the end of this week, said Denise Schirmer of the Somers Land Trust.

Located at the entrance to Angle Fly Preserve, the Reynolds House was originally a farmhouse on a 70-acre farm. The land was used for farming until about 1910, when an estate house was built on the property. At that point in time, the Reynolds House became the home for the caretakers of the estate. The house was used through the 1980s, but was abandoned in the early 1990s.

The Reynolds House was first built in 1776—give or take a few years—and was named after the home’s second owners. The house’s original construction date was determined by the structure’s architectural clues, such as its chestnut beams, square hand-wrought nails, hand-made bricks, varied sized oak lath and wooden pegs, all of which were used to build the traditional Federal style house.

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The Somers Land Trust is in the process of renovating this historic home to ultimately be used as a caretaker’s residence to oversee the preserve. There has been vandalism in the preserve and without the presence of a caretaker, the Somers Land Trust said it is likely to continue.

The project is being completed with a combination of donations and town funds, Schirmer said. The Somers Land Trust is allowed to use up to $100,000 from recreation fees, though Schirmer said the goal is to not use all of that money.

“We’re trying now at this point to let this be a community effort,” Schirmer said.

Many have contributed to the overall project, including a donation from the Somers Lions Club to replace the roof, which was completed in June. The demolition of an addition to the house and the removal of the existing siding, windows and doors was completed in July. In August, the perimeter box beam was replaced, and the house is being enclosed with plywood.

Funds were also collected to remove the existing stone foundation and replace it with new footings and block foundation. Being completed now is installation of windows and doors donated by Jilco Window Corp. and siding from James Hardie Building Products.

“Once the exterior is totally complete, which should be by the end of [this week], the goal is to go inside and complete the interior of the building,” Schirmer said. “The goal is to rebuild it to replicate what it would have looked like in the late 1700s when it was a farmhouse.”

Schirmer, secretary of the group, said Somers Land Trust welcomes any and all donors and volunteers looking to pitch in. People can help through donations of money, labor or materials.

“We’re really hoping to tap into the community,” she said.

Anybody looking to help out can email Schirmer at or call her office number at 914-277-5582.

The renovation of the Reynolds House has been ongoing since 2009. Here is a list of the donors who have contributed to the project so far:

  • Brenner Builders
  • Interstate Lakeland Lumber
  • Somers Lions Club
  • Con Tech Construction
  • Eberlin and Eberlin
  • Danbury Agway
  • Lou Christiansen
  • Paul Walker
  • Chris Cacace
  • Adan Landscaping
  • Boniello Development
  • City Carting
  • Michael Piccirillo Architecture
  • Dan Holt Engineering
  • DeRosa Land Survey
  • About Trees
  • Heritage Hills Hikers
  • Stone House
  • Somers Energy Environment Committee
  • Lawton Adams
  • Earth Tone Nursery
  • IBM
  • The Care of Trees
  • Cedar Ridge Remodeling
  • Zappico Real Estate Development
  • Kearney Realty & Development Group Inc.
  • Efrain Duque
  • A&V Home Improvements
  • Noe Salazar
  • Jilco Window Corp.
  • James Hardie Building Products

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