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Second Nature

Looking for a getaway home near the lake? Prefer that it be modern and eco-friendly? We’ve got some options for you.

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Tryon Farm, located in Michigan City, IN

Michigan City,

THE STORY: Started in the late 1990s by architect Ed Noonan, his wife, Eve, and their collaborative, Chicago Associates Planners and Architects, this 170-acre conservation community (once an operating farm) is comprised mostly of open land—wetlands, prairies, dunes, and woods. Housing stock ranges from clusters of 400-square-foot prefab units to family homes as big as 2,500 square feet grouped in seven “settlements” named for the ecology surrounding them (Pond, Woods, etc.). Each grouping has a unifying aesthetic, with some totally modern, others paying homage to the traditional farmhouse. While a few homes are re-sales, most are custom-built new construction. GREEN CRED: Three-quarters of this land will always be preserved, with no development; residents are taught to reuse storm water; all homes are built to maximize sunlight; there’s a communal vegetable garden. PRICES: From $168,000 for an 800-square-foot two-floor unit with a private courtyard in a four-unit complex to $488,000 for a 2,500-square-foot house, built in collaboration with an architect. PERKS: Goats and chickens still live in original farm buildings; regular bonfires and community suppers; Tryon Farm Guesthouse (a B&B for guest overflow) is on the premises; Indiana dunes are nearby. INFO: tryonfarm.com


Photography: John Hines; (inset) Brian Wilmette


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