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How to account for this Colonial nostalgia? Surprisingly, it could be the population's increasing concern about the environment. Architectural historians point out that original central-chimney homes—nestled near the ground, facing the sunny south and backed up to the cold north winds—were examples of practical Colonial planning that today would be considered "green." Pifer, however, describes an immense increase in people seeking simpler times since 9/11. And Alan and Norman felt that lure.
"Up at the main house, you tend to forget all the things you come to the country for," Alan explains. "You keep seeing things that are wrong—that tree needs pruning, we should repaint the fence...But we come over here and it's peaceful and simple. We feel so comfortable in this house."