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Pruyn House celebrates 30 years

Town and volunteer effort turned dilapidated home into historic treasure

The Town of Colonie purchased the Pruyn House in 1983 and this year the historic home celebrates its 30th anniversary.

The Town of Colonie purchased the Pruyn House in 1983 and this year the historic home celebrates its 30th anniversary. Photo by Zan Strumfeld.

— “This fall, every time I’d look out I’d see another photographer taking pictures of a family. It’s become lovely enough out there that they like it as a setting,” Morgan said.

While the house is open for tours Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Morgan said the rest of the property is always open and likes to think of it as a public park. The site has 11,000 visitors per year, including field trips from schools and community groups.

“It’s got a lot of great things about it now that people can enjoy, and it could have been demolished!” Morgan said. “This would definitely be a housing development if the town hadn’t decided to buy it.”

The site also hosts several annual events. Every summer for more than 20 years, the Pruyn House hosts the Concerts in the Barn series. Each September, “Old-Fashioned Sunday” draws in a large crowd to see the town bands perform while highlighting old-time crafts like a sheep shearer, pony rides, a basket weaver and a blacksmith demonstration.

Morgan said she believes the town now understands the importance of the home and remembering its Dutch history.

“The fact that (Pruyn) was able to even build this house is remarkable. It is a wonderful old house now all restored so people can see what a grand house was like at that time,” Morgan said.

While the house’s winding staircase may creak, Morgan said no one is haunting the premises and she’s never heard any spooky stories about the site.

“People ask me that question all the time,” she said. “We’ll work on it for the 40th.”

The Pruyn House’s 30th Anniversary Celebration is on Wednesday, April 24, at the Century House in Latham and is open to the public as well as Friends of Pruyn House members. The dinner will also honor the Friends of Pruyn House 2012 Outstanding Volunteer. To request an invitation, call the Pruyn House at 783-1435 by April 17.

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