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    North of NYC North of NYC By Houlihan Lawrence By Houlihan Lawrence by

    History belongs to all of us, but for those lucky enough to live in a historic home there's a deeper, more literal sense of ownership. As two of the original 13 colonies, New York and Connecticut boast some of the oldest homes in the nation, and unlike in regions where their sheer paucity have rendered them all into museums the vast majority here are still serving their intended purpose: as homes.

    We've added several listings to our heritage inventory this fall. From provenance to architectural significance to simply good fireside stories, each and every one of these unique properties are unique and irreplaceable in every possible respect.

    BRONXVILLE | Oakledge
    Legend holds that, in the 1830s, Eastchester quarry owner Alexander Masterton was awarded a $3 million federal contract to reconstruct buildings torched by the British years earlier during the War of 1812 out of Tuckahoe marble. John Masterton, one of Alexander's seven children, erected this grand Tudor Manor in 1870, a time when the dominance of neoclassical architecture in public buildings provided steady demand for the monstrous stone slabs their skilled, largely Scots and Scandinavian laborers cut from Westchester's earth. Even then, it was a remarkable residence. Homes in the area were sparse, and those that stood were predominantly wood, Colonial-style farmhouses. Bronxville's population then was so small that it's said Lancaster Underhill, Bronxville's postmaster, railroad-stationmaster and something of a de facto  mascot, could divvy the daily mail to the entire town in just a dozen-odd pigeonholes.


    In 1925, the 11,000-square-foot home was redesigned by Lewis Bowman, a prolific Cornell-educated architect related maternally to George Washington. A McKim, Mead & White alum, Bowman found his niche in residential commissions in affluent communities throughout the Northeast, where he became a name brand; Englewood, Short Hills, Reading and Greenwich, to name a few. Bowman's attention to detail and proclivities towards robust materials were an ideal alignment to bring Oakledge into its next chapter, which continued well through the 20th century.

    The current iteration of Oakledge arrived in 2007. Through the brilliant synergy of Manhattan architect Boris Baranovich and interior designer Steven Gambrel, the two-acre estate remains unparalleled in every possible respect, an almost ethereal melange of modernity and irreplaceable nuance that has persevered across three centuries.

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    CHAPPAQUA | Tribune Cottage
    Surrounded by 3.6 acres of fruit trees, perennial gardens and amenities, the Mansard-roofed farmhouse sat on the farm of Moses Wanzer. It played host to members of the prominent Washburn, Sutton and Haight families, but is arguably most notable for its link to Chappaqua's most cherished historical figure, Horace Greeley, who in local lore was believed to have kept a mistress who resided here. For that reason, it's known by some as "Tribune Cottage," so named for the newspaper the presidential candidate founded in 1841. While primarily a New York City resident, Greeley maintained an operating farm in Chappaqua, and following his landslide loss in the 1872 election returned to Westchester, where he spent the short remainder of his life at the Pleasantville asylum of Dr. George Choate (now Pace University).

    Legends and lore aside, the home is a magnificent historic property in its own right. The 4,900+ SF residence has been meticulously maintained, boasting original, restored hardware, antique millwork and other detailing that could only come from another time. More recent additions to the property include a pool, pool house and an air-conditioned gym, while the original barn now serves as the garage.

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    CHATHAM | Sheepherding Inn
    If you've been a Whole Foods shopper in the greater New York area, you've probably noticed Old Chatham Sheepherding Company's yogurt and award-winning cheeses, maybe even tossed one or two into your green rolling basket. (Ewe's Blue isn't unknown from the menus of many farm-to-table dining establishments, either). What you might not be aware of is that the Columbia County creamery boasts the distinction of being America's largest sheep dairy operation, headquartered at a sprawling complex surrounding an 18th century mansion that most recently served as a Relais & Châteaux country inn.

    The main residence and 25 acres of prime hunt country are presently listed for sale. Dating to 1790,the Georgian-style manor home was carefully converted into its current state under the guidance of students from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, requiring nearly $1M in renovations. Meticulously decorating ushered the return of period-appropriate 18th and 19th century antique furnishings, such as the four-poster beds and resplendent armoires that accent the stone fireplaces, exposed beams and intricate millwork found throughout. Landscaped pathways wind between the house and a tennis court, large working greenhouse, floral gardens and vegetable beds. With no shortage of land or interior space, the conversion possibilities are vast. The present offering represents a rare opportunity to own one of the region's pioneering farm-to-table lifestyle properties.

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    RED HOOK | Atalanta

    Well before online registries, wedding gifts could get inventively extravagant. Such was the case of the estate today known as "Atalanta," constructed in 1851 for Franklin Hughes Delano and his wife, Laura Astor Delano, on land carved out for them from the Astor's storied compound, "Rokeby." Set on over 289 acres along the Hudson River with sweeping vistas clear across to the Catskill Mountains, it's one of the region's most significant grand estates, and certainly unparalleled on today's market.

    Grand proportions define more than 16,000 square feet of interior space that can only be described as palatial. Modern invitations of color and texture refresh the mansion's venerable walls, adorned with pristinely restored old world detailing. Elsewhere across the property are a handful of varied outbuildings, each architecturally notable in their own right. There's a three-bedroom farmhouse, a Victorian gardener's cottage, a stone gate house, carriage house with two apartments, and an additional three-bedroom guest house. Also standout are the estate's equestrian facilities, featuring a world-class, eight-stall barn with office space, a full bath, tack room, feed room, heated indoor riding ring and outdoor dressage ring. A sparkling pool is anchored by a Greek Revival pool house of comparable grandeur to the property's other numerous highlights.

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