SELLER: Estate of Brooke Astor
LOCATION: Briarcliff Manor, NY
SIZE: 10,000 square feet (approx.), 13 bedrooms, 9 full and 2 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...At the heart of this bucolic 64.60 acre haven, the 1927 stone manor designed by prominent architect William Delano embodies the quiet elegance of a classic English country house. There are 6 marble fireplace and 13 bedrooms, including staff quarters...Indoor and outdoor pools are featured along with extensive dependencies including a greenhouse, 4-bedroom gardener's cottage, carriage house and barn.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Today we go from the real estate ree-donkulous Neverland Ranch saga to the utterly soo-blime country estate of New York City's inestimable (and deceased) grande dame Brooke Astor which only this week was placed on the market with an asking price of $12,900,000.
Since philanthropic Miz Astor passed on to meet her great philanthropist in the sky there has been considerable hoo-ha and much ink spilled over Miz Astor's legendary Park Avenue doo-plex, currently listed at a spine tingling $34,000,000 (originally listed at an even more spine tingling $46,000,000).
Starting with Mister Max Abelson's customarily thorough report in the NY Observer this morning, we also expect much hullabaloo will be made in the press and on the gossipy real estate blogs about the listing of Miz Astor's beloved estate Holly Hill, which occupies 64.60 rolling acres over looking the mighty Hudson River in Briarcliff Manor, NY.
Any of the children who read such gorgeous and glossy rags as Vanity Fair or New York Magazine already know that Holly Hill is where Miz Astor expired at the extremely ripe old age of 105. Miz Astor is survived by one aged son, Anthony Marshall, who has been indicted on 16 lurid and scandalous counts of stealing from his mother's mammoth money pile in the last years of her life when she was unquestionably compromised with Alzheimer's. Mister Marshall has, naturally, pleaded not guilty to the salacious allegations.
Listing information for Holly Hill indicates that the main manse, an utterly dignified and well proportioned stone manor house, measures in at approximately 10,000 square feet and includes 13 bedrooms and nine full and 2 half bathrooms, a count that includes the staff quarters.
Built in 1927 and designed by noted society architect William Adams Delano, Holly Hill contains a perfect and elegantly curving staircase that is currently and quirkily lined with dog portraits, a 42-foot long living room with luscious lemon chiffon colored curtains, a banquet sized dining room, a book lined library surrounded in pickled paneling, and two sun porches including one Miz Astor dubbed the Philosopher's Room, although we don't know why.
Additionally, according to listing information and Mister Abelson's report, there is a Memory Room lined with personal mementos and photographs, a wet bar, natch, a kitchen with butler's pantry and a one person elevator which we presume was installed to haul the most august centenarian owner from the perfectly played public rooms to her pink and cream colored private quarters which features a small balcony and one of the six marble mantled fireplaces.
Holly Hill includes both an outdoor swimming pool as well as a long and thin indoor pool which Miz Astor reportedly preferred heated to a well beyond lukewarm 90 degrees. Listing information also reveals the property includes garaging for seven cars, a four bedroom gardener's cottage, a chauffeur's apartment atop the 5 bay carriage house, a barn and root cellar, a large but apparently empty greenhouse, extensive cutting gardens, a croquet lawn, an apple orchard, something called the Love Temple and a most interestingly, a pet cemetery.
Every square inch of Holly Hill appears to have been immaculately maintained and the dee-voonly done day-core, while far too clenched jaw and Oscar de la Renta pantsuit-ish for Your Mama's personal taste, is beyond reproach even by the most cynical and/or modern minded folks. While it's certainly possible and perfectly understandable that any new owner and steward of Holly Hill will desire to update and modernize the mansion and its dependencies, given that the developement rights are intact, it's also a very distinct possibility that a developer will purchase the property and break up the large and very expensive to maintain estate into smaller estates. We're certain real estate preservationists will cry foul at the notion. We'll, uncharacteristically, bite our snarky tongue.