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Home of the Week Nov. 27: Welcome to Turtle Rocks

Photographer Wayne Geist has a cool name for the weekend house he built in Portland in Chautauqua County: Turtle Rocks. The three-bedroom house sits on a 4-acre, cliff-side, forested lot on the shore of Lake Erie. It was completed in February. Its name is derived from the limestone formations on the beach at the bottom of the cliff.

Geist described how the home came to be.

“I started by choosing a lakeside lot and designing an interior. I then decided to find a local, Chautauqua County architect. After some research, I contacted Peter DiPietro of Westfield, who did the final design. What I saw on his website was in line with my thinking; I appreciated his sensitivity to the local natural and manmade landscape and to local materials. It’s a mix of modern and rustic,” said Geist, whose Buffalo home is in the Central Park neighborhood.

The kitchen cabinets are from IKEA. The countertops are walnut.

The floors are ash. The dining table is crafted from reused oak barn wood. The kitchen cabinets are turquoise with walnut countertops. Fourteen people were invited for Thanksgiving, with 11 spending the night. In addition to the three upstairs bedrooms, a first-floor office has a pull-down Murphy bed.

Geist, who has a lifelong interest in geology, described the landscape surrounding the home.

“At the cliff edge of the lot there is a 60-foot drop to a pristine stretch of limestone, shale and sand beach with outcroppings of limestone concretions, popularly called Turtle Rocks," he said.

“There are no stairs. I have a strong rope in the shed. I carry it to a particular tree, wrap it around and secure it with a metal latch and rappel down a less-steep section of the cliff,” he added.

Welcome to Turtle Rocks.

Do you love your house enough to show it off like Wayne Geist did? This could be your chance.

The Buffalo News is looking for other beautiful local homes and the stories behind them and their décor. Those chosen will be displayed in a weekly feature at and could be chosen as Home of the Month with a three-page spread in a Sunday edition of The Buffalo News.

If you are interested, tell us about your home in 150 words or less, and email 10 images (in .jpg form) of the interior and exterior to

Those chosen for will be contacted by Home and Style Editor Susan Martin. A phone number is helpful but not necessary. Single-family homes, condominiums, lofts and apartments are eligible.

The News will include your name and the city or town in which you reside but not your exact address.


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