A woodhouse, a home built to live in and love.
A haunted house.
A house made by the living dead.
These are the things that define the Harpensens.
And while some have said it’s a haunted house, that’s not really the point.
Harpening is a living history, and living history is what the Harpa family’s got.
“The idea of living history has always been there, but I think it was just not understood, it wasn’t appreciated,” Harpen says.
“There were so many misconceptions about it that were like, ‘What’s the point?'”
So Harpa’s family decided to create a museum.
Now it’s been a long road to make it happen.
The house, in the heart of the Harpenas’ family’s neighborhood in the Bronx, has been the center of attention since it was built in 1795.
In the 1950s, it was a family business.
In 1959, it sold and moved to a mansion in Brooklyn.
But the house’s history has taken a turn.
A few years ago, a fire swept through the mansion and burned down part of the interior, leaving behind the Harpers’ old, rusty house.
“When the fire started, we were pretty devastated,” Harpa says.
The next year, the family bought the house back, and it’s now home to Harpa, his wife and two children, all of whom live in the house.
Harpa and his wife opened their new home in 2006.
They decided to build a museum to tell the history of the house and the house-making tradition that they all grew up in.
“What we’ve tried to do is not only preserve this history, but to create this unique museum,” Harpas says.
Harpas and his family are trying to find a buyer for the property.
They’ve been working on the project for about two years, and they hope to open the museum in 2020.
And the museum will take its rightful place in the neighborhood.
The museum will feature an exhibition on the history and craft of Harpa wood, the home he and his son built.
There will also be a small library, a small kitchen, a living room, an office and a dining room.
The Harpons say they want to be able to tell stories and share their experiences, and that they hope the museum helps create an “active, welcoming community” around the house, which is what they hope will happen when the museum opens.
“It’s a living story,” Harpuen says of the history.
“We don’t want to tell it in words.
It’s a lived story, and there’s not a lot of books on it.
But we want people to see it and learn about it.
That’s what this museum is about.”
The museum, he says, will “help us to share this story.”
And that story has been building over the past year.
A small group of local artists have helped them with the restoration and the paint job.
The building will be renovated to make the house more livable, and the Harper family has been donating all the materials that are needed to complete the project.
They’re planning to open up the museum for tours in May.
But it’s also important that the Haropens keep the family history alive, because they have a family legacy to preserve.
“I want people around to come see this, so that when they come to visit it, they’ll be able say, ‘I was there,'” Harpa explains.
“This is our story, this is what we lived and worked and experienced.
And I think that’s what we need to tell, because it’s the story of our family.”