Caldwell & Walsh Building Construction, Inc.


Old Salem Farm  |  North Salem, New York

Old Salem Farm has long been known as one of the premier boarding, training, and show jumping facilities on the East coast. Once owned by actor Paul Newman, the farm stretches over 120 acres and contains a complex of buildings for boarding, indoor riding, training, shows, business administration, staff dwellings, and maintenance needs. When the current owners acquired the farm, the facility had lost some of its luster and maintenance and renovations had been deferred for years. A vision and program was put in place to create a truly world class facility.


Caldwell & Walsh served as construction manager for the nearly two year project. The owners’ desire to restore Old Salem Farm to its former prominence, address future needs, and deal with compliance issues forced a rapid expansion to the original scope. The original project spawned five additional simultaneous projects all conducted while the farm proceeded with its regular schedule of shows and animal care. Working alongside highly sensitive and valuable horses presented a significant challenge to the construction team. The far-spread nature of the project eventually involved every structure on the property and almost all of the 120 acres.


The main barn building contains two indoor riding rings that required full coverage from sprinkler systems, fire alarm and emergency lighting systems, underground fire storage tanks, new lighting, and construction of a two-story public viewing and judge’s booth within the ring. The interior renovations to the main structure included installation of new European horse stalls with mahogany paneling and trim throughout the barn areas, tack storage and laundry rooms, marble clad horse wash stalls, heated grooming stalls, rubber paver floors, as well as lighting, ventilation, and fly control systems. The second floor was converted into a  banquet room, commercial service kitchen and snack bar, business office, event viewing area, and a private boarders’ lounge complete with marble showers, lockers, private gym and granite-topped bar. The exposed timber-framed lounge area is adorned with wood wainscoting, a window-wall overlooking the indoor ring, granite window sills, custom chandeliers, and a Venetian plaster wall surface with embedded stalks of hay as a reminder of the barn activity on the lower floor. To complete the transformation a two-bedroom apartment to house the farm manager was constructed at the north tower to complement the south tower addition and the center clock tower was constructed as a focal point of the entry and outdoor riding and jumping courses. Even the outdoor riding rings were excavated and had new conduits installed for public address systems and new state-of-the-art drainage and specialty equine footing surface materials installed to equal those used in the 2008 Olympic equestrian events.


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