Reviving Greek Revival in Litchfield County

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Don’t be fooled by the calm and serious look on my face, after dreaming, yearning and fantasizing about a ‘place in the country’ for nearly three decades I am now the (seriously) proud,  totally excited and somewhat overwhelmed owner of an 1835 Greek Revival farmhouse in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

I closed on this property last week.

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The house is a classic Greek Revival farmhouse with the simple “Greek Temple” front with white clapboard and dark shutters, a basement that is gravel-over-dirt, a well, a septic system, a couple of fireplaces, wide oak floors, quirky spaces, signs of bats in the attic, a pool, stone walls, picket fences, huge trees, a couple of very old post and beam farm structures (one that is very tippy), another large outbuilding that had been used for a workshop, acres of land and many adventures ahead!

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It takes a lot of work to maintain any home, however I anticipate this very old house may take a particular form of TLC.  Never one to be particularly handy, I expect that I will be learning a bunch of new ‘tricks’ and skills in the weeks, months and years to come.

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This weekend I spent the day with my good friends and photographers Steve Gross and Sue Daley. They have spent many years taking photographs of among other things, historic houses.  It was fun to walk through the empty house and grounds with them taking in the spirit of the place and imagining the possibilities.

We also took a walk into the wooded part of the property and saw a number of early spring plants waking from the long winter, including ramps.

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This very new ‘gentleman farmer’ learned that I have a lot of ramps in the wooded area of the property, how to forage them and how hip they are – who knew?  The Huffington Post included ramps on their list of the 22 Most Hipster Foods on the Planet ‘ and you get double points if they are foraged!

Ramps are essentially wild leeks with tiny white bulbs and long tender greens. They have a very pungent, onion-y flavor and fragrance.

Now for preparing ramps:

One suggestion is chop them cross-wise, sauté them in butter or olive oil – about a tablespoon for every cup of chopped ramps.

Serve the ramps warm simply on toasted bread with pepper to taste, or with eggs, potatoes or in cream based sauces or soups.


Next time I go foraging in my woods for “extra points” I will make sure I have at least a couple days of beard growth and consider wearing the one plaid shirt I own.

Much more to come on Reviving Greek Revival, lessons on how to forage for food, and “working the land”, and the many adventures ahead …

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29 Responses to Reviving Greek Revival in Litchfield County

  1. Daniel Reiser says:

    Great House and land Glenn!!!!! Welcome to the country life.


  2. Lisa says:

    Dear Glenn! I love it. Congratulations my friend. I get the guest room ready.

  3. CJ Dellatore says:

    Congratulations Glenn! Very happy for you!

  4. sue says:

    Steve and I are so happy you found such a beautiful house in such a great place! We’re looking forward to spending more time there with you, and foraging. Next time, nettles!

  5. Jerry kearns says:

    Fantastic Glenn!! Peace and beauty-rare and rarer.. congratulations…J

  6. Hello from Chicago! Following you with appreciation and wishing you all the best!

  7. OH MY GOSH!!!!
    It’s beautiful Glenn….congratulations!
    “To the manor born….” 🙂

    • Glenn Gissler says:

      Truth be told it is more ‘to the bungalow born’ than the manor, but with high aspirations and big dreams!

  8. BEAUTIFUL! Very exciting, Glenn! I remember (and still experience) that incredible sense of joy when I landed my own little jewel in the country. The beauty is in its ever-evolving nature and ever-present new discoveries. Have a wonderful journey (and don’t forget your tick spray!). Jacquie

  9. Mary Pezzaro says:

    Congratulations on acquiring this Greek Revival beauty! I especially love the long window within the pediment enhanced by the almost-square black shutters. This is the kind of charming detail that gives old houses their enduring and irresistible allure. I wish you good luck, happiness and all the best in your wonderful new home.

  10. Mary Gissler says:

    Your Dad and I are so proud and excited for you! It was you who encouraged us to buy our country house on the lake and the wonderful memories we have are unmeasurable. Congratulations!
    with love, Mom

  11. Kate tyler says:

    OMG I want your house… Been following you for a while. Your parents are so pleased…Congrats to you!
    I’m just starting out… And in the middle of a whole house re-do, but I’m keeping an eye on you 🙂

  12. Congratulations Glenn, looks fabulous! I spent many summers of my youth in Goshen….still some of my fondest memories. Nettles! Yes!

  13. Gil Evans says:

    How fantastic Glenn. I’m so happy for you. It looks beautiful and I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  14. TSL says:

    Bless your home, and all who dwell there, and all who visit.

  15. Sig Gissler says:

    Congratulations to my favorite country squire! It’s a dream-come-true house that you richly deserve.
    I’m proud of you. Love, Dad

  16. Allen Leslie says:

    She’s a beauty. Congratulations and best wishes. Allen Leslie

  17. It already looks magnificent, congratulations. A place to decompress, and take time in shaping your farmhouse. It has brought Nini and I untold joy doing the same. If u ever need help in distressing, aging or finishing, I’d be glad to assist.
    I’ve just been foraging ramps at Elk Creek farm, yep, they sure smell pungent.

  18. Elise says:

    Love, love, love! Can’t wait to visit!

  19. lisa trendler says:

    Beautiful. Sooooo hapoy for you and Siena xx

  20. Hi Glenn, Congratulations and Welcome neighbor! I was in your home and “carded” the furniture auctioneer for the new owners..LOL! She told me a designer purchased the estate.
    Best Wishes, Elaine Curley Urban

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