Living Above the Store: Six Business Owners in Rosendale, New York
by Christine Hunter
Living Above the Store is a unique set of portraits using photography, text, and the individual voices of six independent business owners in the village of Rosendale — a former cement-mining town in New York’s Hudson Valley. Each of these owners adapted an older building to create their individual live/work space, giving them flexibility in running their shops and creating a distinctive sense of community along a two-block stretch of the town’s Main Street. Trained as an architect, author, and photographer, Christine Hunter is interested in these modern adaptations of a traditional world-wide building typology rarely found now in the United States.
Her photographs document the town — beginning with an introduction to its history, followed by personal portraits of the owners and their shops: a bakery, a puppet workshop and theater, two restaurants (one Japanese, one Middle Eastern), a candle workshop, and a one-of-a-kind boutique junk store. This book celebrates the importance of these small enterprises, which survive in a difficult retail environment and contribute to a special sense of place in a town that is struggling economically.
A portion of the proceeds from the book go to support the Rosendale Public Library.
...this is an extraordinarily lovely book. The photos are beautiful, and the verbal portraits are likewise. This is a book that belongs on the library’s shelves and in a time capsule…
Christine Hunter is an architect and photographer with particular interests in housing design, preservation, and sustainable neighborhood planning. For 13 years she was a principal in a New York City firm specializing in affordable housing and community facilities. She is also the author and co-illustrator of Ranches, Rowhouses and Railroad Flats: American Homes: How They Shape Our Landscapes and Neighborhoods, published in 1999 by W. W. Norton & Company.