The Place


Lupinewood is what’s left of a vast tract of land and structures that once constituted the Peabody Estate: a gorgeous mansion and its secondary buildings, built on colonized Pocumtuc land in 1883 as a summer house for the richest family in the country at the time. The buildings and roughly 4 acres of land sit on a ridge that once protruded into glacial Lake Hitchcock, now providing stunning views of the Connecticut River Valley. Lupinewood sits at the end of a dead-end road, contiguous with acres of public preservation land riddled with trails and vistas, a mile from downtown.


The main house is a 6,000 square foot mansion, with a first floor built almost entirely of stone, and beautiful architectural details everywhere. Its high ceilings and large rooms conjure fairy tales, and are ironically as well suited for a collective house as they were for the entertaining needs of a robber baron’s nuclear family; its large rooms are ideal for the kitchen, bedroom, hosting, workshop, and meeting space needs of a large collective. Aside from the main house, there’s a cabin with kitchen and bathrooms, as well as two other free-standing houses. The property has a storied history, including a period beginning in the ‘50s when a convent of nuns called the Sisters of Providence spent almost 20 years living communally at Lupinewood, using it as a place of sanctuary and community engagement.

We rescued Lupinewood out of an 8-year foreclosure process that had left the buildings and land in disrepair: broken heating system, burst pipes, corroded electrical wiring, standing water in the basement, leaking roof—the list goes on and on. As a testament to the main building’s integrity, all the years of water infiltration and broken systems weren’t able to compromise its structural integrity: The old-growth beams, brownstone foundation, ornate wooden paneling, original hardwood floors, and other core building elements are still in overwhelmingly good condition. A few more years and the place may not have been reasonable to bring back from the brink, but thankfully we’ve caught it in the nick of time, and with a solid foundation to work with, we’ve set ourselves to the slow process of repairing the damage that deferred maintenance and misrepairs have caused.