In his book published in 1855, Outdoors at Idlewild, the writer Nathaniel Parker Willis described his property at the village Cornwall-on-Hudson: “This little domain lay upon a shelf or terrace on the western bank of the Hudson, at the point where its waters received the slender tribute of Moodna Creek. The location seemed destined by nature for a gentleman’s country seat, from its variety of surface and its noble timber.”
The summer-house is part of the romanticized journey of people retreating into the forests along the Hudson River. Missing from these imaginaries is the movement of labor. Today, the summerhouse Idlewild no longer exists, and the landscape remains the same. The new Idlewild, with its variety of surfaces and new types of timber products, re-distributes the function of summer houses as healing places to a dangerous and labor-intensive workplace. As a worker-owned mass timber manufacturing facility, the new Idlewild is a manmade landscape of mass timber inside the natural landscape, designed to introduce new modes of working and relaxing for people in the forestry and lumber production industries.