In Catskills, City Buyers Recolonize Bungalows


summer-home-bungalowZoe Schneider was on the hunt for an affordable country house when her brother forwarded an ad to her from his Boerum Hill Listserv: a little place in the Catskills with a pool, basketball court and a playground. The price: $25,000.

“We didn’t understand why the price was so low,” said Ms. Schneider, a children’s clothing designer from Harlem. Then she saw it: a 400-square-foot semi-attached cabin, set among 21 other units in a former Catskills bungalow colony, now a co-op, called Spring Glen Woods. “I didn’t even know bungalow colonies still existed,” Ms. Schneider said. “We put an offer on it five days later.”

Bungalow colonies became a part of lower- and middle-class Jewish life at the turn of the last century, when Jewish farmers in Orange, Ulster and Sullivan Counties began renting rooms, and then cottages, to boarders. As these expanded into full-blown developments, each one owned and operated by a single family, bungalow colonies began to offer resort-like amenities – tennis courts, pools, communal buildings called casinos, featuring Saturday evening entertainment – in an enclave of humble, close-knit cottages, some renting for as little as a few dollars a week. Read more at the New York Times.

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