Prefab

David Donohue

This week a home-building company in Walpole New Hampshire is playing host to 21 carpentry French apprentices, who in two days are building a replica of Thoreau’s Walden Pond Cabin. The exchange program hopes to do more than teach kids how to swing a hammer; It's just one way these builders are working to blend the old and the new.

Just north of Keene, Walpole New Hampshire is a quiet, unassuming spot. Though, quiet can be a relative term when the hammers and saws at Bensonwood Homes get going.