By Marybeth Cale
Originally Written in Living Rhinebeck – March 2020


If you walk by a local real estate office on any given Saturday, you can’t help but notice tourists eyeing the listings in each window. I imagine (and sometimes hear) a conversation that goes something like this: “Wouldn’t you just love to LIVE here?” “What would it take? Maybe we CAN do this!” Gratitude fills my heart as I think about the fact that their dreams are OUR reality. How lucky are we to live in a community that people fantasize about one day calling “home”?

And when you think about WHY people are attracted to this area and never want to leave, certain themes seem to pop: the walkability of our villages, the spirit of community, and the deep connections we’re able to forge as part of small towns where we truly get to share in one another’s lives.

Recently I learned of a concept that’s growing in popularity in many parts of the country which speaks to all of that and more: the Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND). It marries that old-fashioned, low-stress, small-town experience with modern-day luxury and amenities. Right here in Northern Dutchess County, in fact, the first TND is well underway: Tradition at Red Hook (25 Old Farm Road, just steps from the Village of Red Hook). I caught up with their team recently to better understand the TND concept. It is fascinating. Everything from the architecture and interior design to the sidewalks and open spaces are very deliberately thought-out. And in learning about the decisions made to create an idyllic lifestyle for residents, I realized it’s a nod to the way of life I cherish as a “villager”, but with so much more to offer.

Photo by: Alon Koppel Photography

Here’s what I discovered:

Traditional Neighborhood Developments provide a pedestrian-friendly lifestyle focused on connectivity between neighbors through larger, functional front porches, miles of wide sidewalks, interconnected tree-lined streets, alleyloaded garages, and open space. In our local TND (Tradition at Red Hook), you’ll see a village green and courtyards designed for events and socialization, as well as a fitness center, mail house, and nature trails, among other amenities. Over 30 acres of the 50-acre property have been preserved, and the idea is to reduce the carbon footprint, protect natural beauty, and create environmentally-friendly residences, all while fostering a sense of place for the residents who will live in the 102 brand new homes.

The truth is, pre-1940s homes were actually built much in the same fashion. Front porches fostered the development of relationships; people enjoyed conversation with neighbors who walked by on sidewalks. Vehicles were not used as much since people were able to walk out the door to do their errands. People really got to know one another. As someone who absolutely loves living, working, and raising kids in a small town, I hope to see the TND concept continue to grow. The Tradition at Red Hook community serves to remind us that human-tohuman connections and a healthy way of life centered around walking and being outdoors are at the heart of a good life. Kudos to all involved in making this happen.

Learn more or set up a time to see one of their beautiful model homes by visiting