by Elizabeth Finkelstein
I live just north of New York City, so I’ll admit that when it comes to historical homes, I’m a tad bit spoiled. A number of homes in and around my area were built by the crème de la crème of hotshot architects—at a time when architects themselves were a rare breed and accessible only to the very wealthy. Case in point: This jawdropper of a home in Rye, New York, built by the esteemed Charles A. Platt—a pioneer in the American Renaissance movement in architecture whose clients included the Roosevelts and Astors.
ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN TO YOU WHY YOU NEED THIS HOUSE.
Because: LOOK AT THIS DUTCH DOOR!
Also: THIS DINING ROOM. (right?!)
Platt designed this home in 1904, on a deep 1.3-acre lot. This theme here is symmetry, and that’s not by chance. This was a time in our country’s history when we were overflowing with self-confidence and the belief that America was, for lack of a better term, the “modern empire.” Our buildings reflected this sense of pride and nationalism, and looked to stately, classical architecture for inspiration (translation: no penny-pinching here, folks.)
Can we all agree that this herringbone brick floor is the bee’s knees?
Wait. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE GARDENS. The architectural history buffs among us won’t be surprised to see how well the landscape and the home play off of one another, as if it’s all just a seamless, perfect composition. Platt was also a landscape designer, and his gardens—many of which were based on formal European designs—were as impressive as his buildings. More than that, though, the landscape was thought to be as crucial a part of each home’s design as the rooms themselves.
Formal boxwood gardens? Check!
A serene terrace from which to sit back and enjoy this perfect set-up? Check!
The asking price for this beauty is $4,150,000, and you can view all the details over at Houlihan Lawrence (who, by the way, have their finger on oodles of amazing luxury homes for sale just north of the city.). In the meantime, here’s the description copied directly from the listing, in case you (like me) can’t seem to get enough of this place.
With the impressive provenance of a 1904 design by Charles A. Platt, renowned architect of the American Renaissance movement, this iconic residence with its classic symmetrical design is timeless. Set back from the road on an enviable 1.30 acres with a series of level lawns surrounded in beautifully-designed formal boxwood and flower gardens, it’s ready inside and out for today’s style of living and entertaining.
Dutch front door opens to a paneled entry, with marble floor and powder room, introducing the well-proportioned, light-filled rooms featuring a front-to-back living room with centered fireplace; library with fireplace and walls of custom cabinetry, and a paneled dining room, also with fireplace and wall of windows overlooking the gardens and the inviting pool. The designer kitchen has white marble counters with complementing herringbone brick floor, designer appliances, breakfast area, a side sitting room, adjacent screened-in porch, and a butler’s station with upper glass front cabinetry and cherry counters. The second floor master suite has a fitted dressing room, fireplace, a luxury bath; and finishes with an additional five bedrooms, two with fireplaces, two full baths, powder room, and a laundry room. The lower level has a wine closet and loads of storage. Outside, a covered dining terrace overlooking the gardens and pool is a magical setting for al fresco entertaining. And a tucked-away 3-bay garage offers approximately 650 square feet of walk-up storage on the second floor. Timeless and turnkey to every detail, this impressive heart of Rye residence is moments to every convenience, and a short 35 minute train to Grand Central Station.
AUTHOR ELIZABETH FINKELSTEIN
Elizabeth is the founder of CIRCA and a practicing writer, architectural historian and preservation consultant living in Nyack, NY. Elizabeth has loved historic houses for as long as she can remember, having grown up in an 1850’s Greek Revival gem that was lovingly restored by her parents. Elizabeth, her husband Ethan and their beagle Banjo remain on a relentless hunt for their perfect “Thanksgiving house.”