Erin Cadigan says the house didn’t look like much when she first spotted it under all that brush. It was a 149-year-old Victorian that appeared as if it was being slowly consumed by its own front yard. It had languished on the market for months, despite being within walking distance of downtown Woodstock, a wealthy, desirable artists enclave in New York’s Catskill Mountains.
Every other prospective buyer had been scared off by the size of the project. Not Cadigan.
In mid-2014, she and her husband, Martin, jumped in, spending eight months transforming the 1,553-square-foot home into the White Dove Rockotel, a colorful rock ‘n’ roll–themed hotel, and one of the most distinctive Airbnb properties in upstate New York.
It’s since appeared in a movie, several magazines, and countless Instagram posts. Now the couple are ready to sell, and they told us they want to expand their Rockotel concept beyond Woodstock. They’re now selling the property for $695,000.
“It’s been a business that’s supported a lifestyle that we’re interested in,” Cadigan says. “But there’s this reality that we want something different with our lives, especially for someone like me, who’s always thinking bigger. A four-room hotel will always be a lifestyle brand. So I can stay attached to this hotel. Or I can sell this building and take my hotel concept to a bigger place.”
The White Dove is unquestionably distinctive. Its exterior is painted in sherbet-colored shades of pink and purple, with red trim. Inside, each themed suite has its own private entrance, electronic key, kitchen, bathroom, and record player.
The largest suite, called Experience, is Jimi Hendrix–themed, with purple-tinted wood paneling in the living room (which features a ’60s-esque stone fireplace and a projector screen). The full-size kitchen is black and white, with a custom wallpaper pattern that Cadigan designed based on Hendrix’s guitar strap from his 1969 performance at Woodstock.
The custom wallpaper in Experience’s king-size bedroom shows tiny flying eyeballs—a nod to Rick Griffin’s iconic 1968 poster advertising four Hendrix shows in San Francisco.
The next-largest suite, Heart, is Janis Joplin–themed, with psychedelic wallpaper in the living room that evokes the singer’s favorite things—birds, pearls, peacocks, and whiskey bottles.
Heart has its own deck overlooking the backyard, a kitchenette, and a soaking tub.
The smallest suite, Garden, is a nod to Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock,” a song she wrote after missing the first Woodstock Festival. Garden has a kitchenette, claw-foot tub, and custom textiles and wallpaper inspired by the song’s lyrics:
We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion-year-old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden
Cadigan says her favorite suite is Station, a stand-alone cabin in the backyard that’s Grateful Dead–themed.
She and Martin are both Deadheads and followed the band around on tour when they were younger. Cadigan, an artist and designer, made money selling rock T-shirts and posters out of her camper van.
Station is a studio cabin, with a custom wallpaper design that pulls in the band’s iconic roses and ribbons.
One caveat for prospective buyers—Cadigan says she intends to take the custom wallpaper and textiles out of the rooms before selling the property.
The Woodstock Festival in 1969 helped spark the nation’s counterculture movement, giving birth to a generation of progressive baby boomers. Although that first music festival was held 40 miles outside Woodstock, the town has remained an enduring symbol of the counterculture, with regular drum circles in the town square, vegan restaurants, and funky, colorful shops.
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