The natural environment as well as year-round and summer residents shaped architectural expressions in the Route 20 villages of Cherry Valley, Sharon Springs, and Richfield Springs, all in Otsego County, NY.
In all three villages building form and style combined tradition and innovation to create structures that were functional and fashionable. Builders added classical columns, decorative cornices, and colored glass windows to connect with larger architectural styles. At the same time, local materials and distinctive landscapes shaped architectural expressions that marked these places as unique.
Cherry Valley, Sharon Springs, and Richfield Springs are especially rich in buildings from the 1800s and early 1900s, which embody the culture of each place — from transportation to recreation to religious expression.
This summer Otsego 2000 will offer a series of walking tours of the three villages, led by Dr. Cynthia Falk.
The Cherry Valley walk on June 26th will focus on Turnpike architecture, the Sharon Springs walk on July 31st will highlight development undertaken to support Jewish visitors to the springs, and the Richfield Springs walk on August 14th will feature resort building.
A professor of material culture at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, Dr. Falk served as co-editor of Buildings & Landscapes: The Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum for five years. She is an adviser to Otsego 2000.
All walks will be held on Sundays and begin at 4:30 pm. The cost for each walk is $10, and space is limited. Registration is required and can be completed online.
Photo of Cherry Valley street scape provided by Otsego 2000.