Peter Walker's "Ark" in Woodstock has burned to the ground .
Peter Walker, world famous American folk guitarist and Woodstock NY local, had his home burn to the ground on Sunday night.
The fire was started by a candle knocked over by another local man whom Peter was giving shelter to. Both men escaped what quickly became a burning inferno but Peter’s beloved dog Zorro did not.
The fire consumed the " Ark" along with the two neighboring buildings. Leaving six families and residents homeless.
Peter ran out into the cold night in bare feet and undershorts carrying three burning guitars. The guitars did not survive. Nothing did. His collection of Spanish and steel guitars, dulcimers, autoharps, Indian sarodes, his tamboura, and piano, his cash savings, his parent antiques, his master recordings of his 10 albums, his self collected rare law book library and a life-time of memories. This is all in addition to life’s basics: shoes, clothes, kitchen ware, furniture…..
The home itself was a rare and precious place known as the "Ark" . The building was built in the late 1960's by Paul Farmer and Patty Goodyear (the tire heiress). In 1988, when Patty passed from leukemia, they turned the building over to Peter to use as a cultural Ark.
For the last 30 years Peter has filled the Ark with Woodstock memorabilia, original recordings of the musicians that made Woodstock the great place that it is. The collection included paintings by Woodstock artists Robert Reynolds, Bob Dacey Deborah Salt and John Ernst,. There was also a collection of rare flamenco recordings, and posters, the Karen Dalton archives, unreleased music of Jimmy Hendrix, Tim Hardin, Jimmy Cliff, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Gibson, Monte Dunn and other Woodstock musicians on reel to reel and cassettes tapes, videos and digital art in various formats. The upper part of the building was used as an audio and video recording studio at no cost for local artists.
In addition to The Ark, two other buildings that Peter rented to locals, who came to consider him family, were damaged beyond livable condition. These rentals were Peter’s main source of income.
The immediate goal is the estimated ten thousand dollars or more that it will take to clean up much of the debris, then run a new pole and electric back to the small cottage behind the burned out buildings that survived the fire. This will enable me to have a place to live. Only then can the process of rebuilding begin.
Peter says "I have no way to thank those who are helping me. Then, it occurred to me that I have an album in cyberspace that I can digitally share. It was done in Nashville, and although flawed, like me, it expresses, warts and all, the state of my progress on my path. I will send a copy to all contributors.
The "Ark" was a place where magic happened. The entire property was a haven for art, music and low cost housing for 6 households. I want to try and rebuild. This campaign is the first step.
I ask you to, please, give what you can,"