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A View with a Room
"I really am Ellie May Clampett," Linda says, referring to the backwoods bombshell of "Beverly Hillbillies." "I love critters and the landscape." This mantra led to the six-year renovation of Lang Syne. There was a desire to embrace the natural landscape in each room. Once launched, the home's expansion reached 2,200 square feet. The inclusion of an indoor garage with an upper-level loft and full basement increased the home's total square footage to 5,600 square feet. The basement and loft remain unfinished. "At this point they may never be finished," Linda confides. "We still have incomplete projects in many of the rooms."
Twelve-over-twelve windows, French doors, and Palladian windows enliven the home. Throughout the renovation, items removed from the home were recycled. In the living room, hand-planked flooring was reinstalled. The flooring predates the Davenport construction. Thankfully, the Davenports had followed the same rule. Nothing was discarded. The wide-plank flooring no longer in vogue in the 1930s had been utilized as subflooring. Hand-hewn beams, carved period mantels, wide-board floors, and crafted mill work abound throughout the four-bedroom home. The stars of the first and second floors are the windows and French doors—exterior spaces become interior spaces in sunlight.
- Deborah DeGraffenreid
- A trained florist, Linda Hopfenspirger incorporates decorative vignette’s in each room’s decor.
Spaces to Live In
Family celebrations abound in the Hopfenspirger's Lang Syne. A typical holiday may find Linda busily preparing dinner for a guest list of 45. Thanksgivings are often reminiscent of Norman Rockwell's iconic painting Freedom from Want. The Hopfenspirger clan is a large one. "Our home is meant to be enjoyed," says Linda. Then there have been the weddings of Kurt and Mehren. "As parents, we share a close relationship with our children," she says. "Our children's spouses have been readily and happily included in our family."
The gates of Lang Syne have often been open to a number of local nonprofits. In December 2008 and 2014, the home's 11 Christmas trees were the highlight of the Holly Berry Trail, the annual benchmark fundraising event for the Junior League of Kingston. Valuing land preservation, the Hopfenspirgers' home was the setting for an event to benefit the Open Space Institute. In 2014, Vicki St. John-Gilligian was selected by the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley as a lifetime honoree. Without hesitation the Hopfenspirger's opened their home and grounds for the garden party. More than 500 guests drank and dined over the course of a September afternoon. Guests were invited to tour the home at will. "Our home is a family home we share with our guests," states Linda.
Given the ever-changing dynamics of the media distribution business, Linda and Tom are beginning to look toward retirement. It is no coincidence the German translation of the word hopfen is "grower of hops." Historically, New York State controlled the market of hops production in the US, and the Hudson Valley was the center of that production. With a name like Hopfenspirger, "how could we not consider growing hops?" Currently, they are in the discussion and research stages. "Tom has cleared the three acres," says Linda. "We have spoken with growers as well as others in the production field." After the initial planting it takes three years before the hops may be harvested. Though intrigued by the thrill of a new adventure, Linda and Tom have not reached a final decision.
- Deborah DeGraffenreid
- Lang Syne is home many varieties of decorative wallpaper.
Tradition and Family
"We enjoy being the custodians of cherished pieces that have spanned 200 years or more of our country's history. Other families have loved these high-country antiques before us. We carry on that tradition as we safeguard them now only to pass them on to future generations. They complete our home. We feel the pieces add warmth and character to our home and a sense of history. We always enjoyed sharing the history with Mehren and Kurt so they would develop an appreciation of fine handmade furniture that has survived multiple generations," says Linda. The value of family, tradition, and home is the creed of the Hopfenspirger household. Mehren and husband Guy Popvin have announced the pending birth of their first child. This assures that Lang Syne will again be welcoming another generation to its hearth.