This James Cutler-designed $3.5M converted barn on 76 acres in Central Jersey was an author’s refuge

This James Cutler-designed $3.5M converted barn on 76 acres in Central Jersey was an author’s refuge

October 28, 2021

Photo credit: Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty

Built in 2001, Freestone Farm at 318 Hopewell Amwell Road in Hopewell Township, New Jersey, was designed by notable Seattle-based architect James Cutler of Cutler Anderson Architects. The property’s current owner is best-selling author Richard Preston (“The Hot Zone,” “Wild Trees”). The stone, timber, and glass main house sits on 76 acres that includes private walking trails and old growth forest. The property’s original farmhouse, also designed by Cutler, is joined to the main home by a bluestone walkway.

Cutler is known for integrating his homes into the existing landscape as he has done with this stunning property. Though Cutler’s houses can be found throughout the United States–including Bill and Melinda Gates’ house in Washington state–this is his only New Jersey project.

Its design also takes inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff in Buffalo, NY, and the famed Taliesin, in Wisconsin. The main house is sited on the ruins of a bank barn and incorporates the barn’s back wall.

An open floor plan and soaring, beamed ceilings define the first floor of the main house. Spaces are framed by 28-foot spans of repurposed Douglas-fir, a fieldstone fireplace, and a state-of-the-art kitchen. The kitchen, like the rest of the home, uses wood and stone to anchor its functionality with stone countertops, warm timber millwork, and a wall of windows that overlook the property’s verdant acres.

On the second floor, bedrooms are situated in separate bays–a feature of Cutler’s designs. The main bedroom spans two bays. All bedrooms have awe-inspiring views of the surrounding farmland.

Several expansive bluestone terraces seem to be part of the house though they lie just outside its glass walls. One terrace has an outdoor fireplace.

The main house is situated on 41 acres. Included in the sale is an adjoining 35-acre lot with a public walking trail and a stream with a swimming hole that is rumored to have cooled off George Washington’s soldiers during the Revolutionary War. This property also includes a four-acre reserved area with development potential.

The adjacent original farmhouse serves as a charming guest house or–as in the case of the current owner–a writing studio. The farmhouse features a barn, connected garage, and smokehouse.

A solar field provides much of the electricity for the property, and an energy-efficient heat pump system cools and heats the house. Some of the land falls under New Jersey’s Farmland Assessment Act, which provides for lower tax assessment based on the productivity of the farmland if it meets specific eligibility criteria.

[Listing details: 318 Hopewell Amwell Road by Joan Loraine Otis of Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty]


Photo credit: Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty

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