After working in the theater equipment business (lighting, rigging and curtains) for eleven years I found myself burnt out. Truthfully I was burnt out at around year 9, or at least definitely starting to char. When I was looking for that next thing I stumbled into a good friend and fellow indoor soccer team mate, Joe. He joined a small boutique architecture firm in the little village with the unusual name, Skaneateles, NY.
Ramsgard Architectural Design is run by Andy...Ramsgard, thus the name. He's built a solid, well regarded practice, and enjoys a legacy of great projects in his still youthful practice. Joe introduced me to Andy, Andy gave me a freelance drafting assignment which turned into a full time gig. Transition from theater biz to architecture biz via the side door complete! Great experience and I still use the things I learned there today...so thanks to Andy (and Eric, Joe, Frank, and Sherie) for the memories!
As if running a business isn't enough to keep him busy Andy has taken on another challenge. He (and his family, wife Sherie, and kids Ruby and Rex) bought a unfinished castle in the Adirondacks. They've been working since to take another man's dream and see it through to completion.
A dream formed in eight year old Ed Leary's mind during 1951, a dream of building a castle. In 1983, at forty years old, he finally saved enough money to get started with buying 20 acres of land. He worked at it for just over twenty years until he died of a spinal infection at sixty-two. The property and the shell of the castle "bobbled" back and forth for a number of years between family members until the Ramsgard's came into the picture. Here's what the castle looked like during their first visit.
There's more to the story and Andy's wife, Sherie, started blogging about it in May 2010, at least it looks to me like she's doing the majority of the posting. Considering it's a weekend warrior project they've made some serious progress since. Here's a picture from recent post from last month.
If you are curious you should check out their blog and follow along. If you are in the Adirondacks you might be able to be a new friend and help out during the weekend. They've got some rocks they need to move, among other things!
A man's home is his castle and Long live the King (and his Queen and kids)!