It was no exodus, of course, but when Kathleen Triem quit her job at a Manhattan design firm in July 1996, her associates were thunderstruck. Triem had decided to practice architecture in the more leisurely atmosphere of upstate New York and, as her colleagues saw it, she was shooting herself in the foot. One man went so far as to say that she’d be back in TriBeCa before you could say “Poughkeepsie.”
For years, Eileen and Jelle Kiesling spent much of their time in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, she as a teacher, and he as a manager for Royal Dutch Shell. Reaching semi-retirement, the couple, who live in the Netherlands, were looking for a vacation home back in the United States, specifically northwest Arkansas, where Eileen grew up.