Citizen Gloria

What was being called a Nor' Easter rains down on Colonie on a dreary Friday morning as Gloria Knorr waits inside with her 9-month grandson, Jackson. She drapes a blue jacket over his head to protect him from the rain as she walks to her rusty 1965 Chrysler.

She drives to her residence located at Albany-Shaker Road in Loudonville, 13.3 acres of farmland left to her and her sister by their mother, Irma. As she approaches the dirt road leading to a tiny, aging house, Gloria must first clear the brush out of the way to get through.

Soon enough, she clears everything out of the way and approaches the 96-year-old home. This property and this land is what Gloria has fought to preserve from being built into what she refers to as a cookie-cutter home development. What she hopes she can turn the property into is affordable, yet sustainable housing.

"It's very difficult for me now because the market is bad and the banks aren't loaning," she said, as she goes over the plans Bruce Brownell, owner of Adirondack Alternate Energy, has for her home. "He's trying to find a developer for me."

The most attractive part of the property is a 7-acre parcel located directly behind the home, which falls in the center of the property line. Gloria said she has no desire to sell only the 7 acres as she wants to sell the full 13 acres.

Knorr's family originally owned 30 acres of land, but her uncle sold 15 to the Times Union for its headquarters. The uncle talked Knorr's mother into giving up 2 acres of her own land in the deal.

Knorr's hope is to build a Passive Solar Home on the remaining property, one that uses day lighting, six-sided insulation envelope and a heavy air-integrated thermal mass system. She has since come to realize that a property like that would be far too expensive to be affordable housing.

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