Cronk Earthship

Sustainable Lorraine house built with recycled tires, glass bottles completed (VIDEO)

LORRAINE It was a tiring effort, one that came close to the deadline, but five good years of physically demanding work has come to a close for the Cronk family.

The project, a 4,000-square-foot home featuring more than 1,300 recycled tires and about 10,000 repurposed wine and liquor bottles, is finally complete.

I’ve been up here so much, the fact I’m going to be living here very, very soon, it really hasn’t hit me that I’m actually gonna live here, said Anthony S. Cronk, a technology teacher at South Jefferson Middle School. I know it’s kind of hard for me to conceptualize, to make it real.


The Cronks were approved for their occupancy permit Oct. 16, and got it in the mail Saturday. The deadline for them to receive that certification to meet the terms of a construction loan was Oct. 31.

The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity to meet the deadline, Mr. Cronk said, burning that midnight oil.

I couldn’t go to sleep, said Melissa Fregoe-Cronk, Mr. Cronk’s wife, a science teacher at Watertown High School. I knew he was here.

The home is built in the Earthship style, taking advantage of discarded materials in the building process that would otherwise be scrapped.

The rubber tires, each painstakingly filled with mud, work as a thermal mass, drawing heat during the day and releasing it at night. The Cronks collected the tires from area repair shops, junkyards and Craigslist users.