Saugerties NY

Celebrities, Cool Listings, Upstate

jim henson, Saugerties NY, Bright Bank, 33 Barclay Street

If you watched the Muppets as a child (or an adult) the late puppeteer Jim Henson likely holds a special place in your heart. You may not have known, though, that his son John Henson was also a puppeteer. John’s other passion was historic architecture. At the age of 16, he renovated a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse in Saugerties, New York, an historic village in Ulster County that borders the Hudson River and Catskills. After that, he had the renovation bug, buying and developing many properties in the town. According to a Facebook posting on the Jim Henson Company’s page upon his passing last year, “each of his buildings is an art project, an immersive experience balancing function with artistic expression. His exterior, and fine interior work, utilizing a wide range of materials; from wood, to metal, to stone, created rooms of exquisite embracing craftsmanship.”

One of the homes he worked on in Saugerties was his personal residence known as Bright Bank, a circa 1848, 13,892-square-foot mansion and farm buildings on 137 acres of Hudson Riverfront property. It was once a sanitarium, later converted to apartments, and John Henson and his wife Gyongyi bought it in 2004 for $4.2 million. However, after embarking on a massive renovation, Henson died suddenly of a heart attack in February 2014, never getting to complete the project. Gyongyi Henson has now listed the breathtaking property for $12 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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