Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
/ Source: Zillow
By Katherine Martinelli

In 2012, Bronson Bigelow and his wife already owned a weekend home in Sullivan County in the Catskills, about 100 miles north of New York City. But when they found out that the gorgeous gospel church around the corner from them was for sale, they couldn’t resist.

Schoolhouse style home in the Catskills
Steve Belner

“When we first bought, it we just wanted to save it,” explains Bigelow. “But when we started peeling back the layers, it was too cool not to do something special with it.”

Schoolhouse home
Steve Belner

Originally built in 1893 as a one-room schoolhouse, the building became a gospel church in the 1950s, but had been empty since around 2000.

Schoolhouse home
Steve Belner

RELATED: You could live inside of a castle! See inside this 'otherworldly' home

The Bigelows purchased it from the church congregation and spent a year renovating and restoring the structure, and working with the town to obtain the proper permits and zoning to turn the property into a boutique inn. Last year, Conde Nast Traveler named Hillside Schoolhouse one of the top 25 hotels in the country.

Schoolhouse home
Steve Belner

They converted the previously unused attic space into two bedroom suites with bathrooms, which essentially doubled the space. Though Bigelow says he could have chopped up the downstairs space to build more rooms, he really wanted to “give it a sense of historical accuracy. We wanted that space to be authentic.”

Schoolhouse
Steve Belner

The main room — which is Bigelow’s favorite part of the house — maintains all the original windows, floors, and slate chalkboards. A newly built grand staircase now connects the common area with the two bedrooms upstairs.

Schoolhouse home
Steve Belner

The home and inn is on the market for $649,000 with listing agent Beryl Oles of Global Property Systems Real Estate.

Schoolhouse style home
Steve Belner

RELATED: For sale! See inside this 102-year-old craftsman style home — peek inside

Bigelow can see a number of potential owners for his beloved property. It could be someone in the market for a weekend home for easy getaways from the city. Or it could be someone who wants to fully operate it as a business, as he and his wife do currently. Alternately, Bigelow foresees a pleasant middle ground for owners use it as a weekend home and rent it out when they wish.

Schoolhouse home
Steve Belner

“We are booked every weekend without fail,” says Bigelow. “So someone who wants to use it can, and the weekends they don't, it’s almost guaranteed to generate income.”

Schoolhouse home
Steve Belner

RELATED: Look inside! Church gets 'born again' as a B&B

Photos by Steve Belner.

Related: