Green Lessons From the 'House of the Year'

Like Dorothy's place in "The Wizard of Oz," another house has landed in an unlikely spot. The country abode this time has come to the big city, drawing crowds eager to see what Country Living magazine calls "The House of the Year."

Betty Lyn Walters-Eller, a consultant on the project, said visitors to downtown Manhattan come armed with smart questions about how much "green" thinking went into this blue-gray structure. The 1,600-square-foot cottage, on view at at the World Financial Center through June 17, arrived at the plaza on May 18 and then was turned over to experts like Walters-Eller for decoration.

Walters-Eller stood on the cottage porch last Friday afternoon and chatted about her work it. She said she gets quizzed as to why there's no solar paneling, which she insists starts to degrade the day it's installed. She likes the eco-sensitive siding and trim done by James Hardie.

Walters-Eller says there are other tips for homeowners in the home. And Americans seem ready to hear the suggestions. "Green," the House of the Year's project consultant said, "has gone mainstream."

So who built this place and what lessons does it hold for the rest of us?