Thursday, August 20, 2009

Buy or Lease Björk's House in Snedens Landing

SELLER: Björk Gudmundsdottir
LOCATION: Woods Road, Snedens Landing, NY
PRICE: $1,800,000
SIZE: 2,975 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...This Unique & Rare home offers 6 large bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and a powder room. There is also a large room that has been transformed into an artists studio surrounded by walls of glass. The enormous kitchen rivals that of most restaurants, with all top of line over sized appliances as well as an eating area. There are skylights and a wealth of windows throughout the house that provide for fabulous natural light throughout the day as well as views of the Hudson River. The Master bathroom is made out of natural stones. There are 2 main patios or decks off of the house from different rooms of the house, from the kitchen, foyer, and artists studio...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Yesterday Your Mama discussed the downtown New York City digs of über-artist Matthew Barney which he has listed for sale with an asking price of $1,700,000 and we briefly addressed the four and some million dollar Brooklyn Heights penthouse Mister Barney and his Icelandic superstar ladee-mate Björk Gudmundsdottir are in the process of purchasing. Today, in an effort to tie a bow around this particularly delicious celebrity real estate package, Your Mama would like to discuss Björk's bucolic retreat in the posh enclave of Snedens Landing, NY which the wonderfully wacky swan suit wearing singer has listed with an asking price of $1,800,000. The property is also listed for lease at $7,000 per month.

Quietly swank Snedens Landing, which is in New York State even though it sits on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, is just a 30 minute commute (without much traffic) to Midtown Manhattan. The pastoral, private and arty-farty Palisades community is made up of only about 100 high-priced homes tucked into the rugged, wooded landscape that tumbles down to the shore of the mighty Hudson River. The teeny-tiny community is sometimes referred to as Hollywood on the Hudson because of all the klieg lighters who own homes there including Chuck Barris, Al Pacino, Bill Murray, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lorraine Bracco who bought her house from Ellen Burstyn in 1989 and is reportedly in contract to sell her riverfront celebrity magnet manse to Phish front man Trey Anastasio.

Your Mama freely confesses that property records we accessed for Miz Gudmundsdottir's Hudson River hideaway are a wee bit confusing to our gin soaked pea brain. One set of records show the singer with the seductively sibilant speech pattern purchased the 1.5 acre property on Woods Road in April of 2002 for $1,400,000. Another set of records rather strangely indicates she snatched it up in March of 2002 for $4,900,000. Why there are two sets of records that have identical information about the sizes of the property and residence but two wildly different purchase prices is simply beyond our admittedly limited abilities to makes sense. However, given that Miz Gudmundsdottir has listed her cozy crib with a price tag of $1,800,000, we have to make the assumption that the actual purchase price was $1,400,000.

Whatever the case, the three story main house measures 2,975 square feet (or 2,195 square feet depending on where one looks) and listing information indicates the quirky, multi-winged house includes 6 bedrooms and 4.5 poopers. A circular drive leads to the front of the house where unkempt vines climb up the side of the house. The house is, according to listing information, entered on the middle level where all six of the bedrooms are located as well as a large room used as an artist's studio. The top floor contains, according to listing information, only a vast living room with a vaulted ceiling and and gigantic windows.

Tucked into the hillside on the lowest floor is a commodious and cluttered kitchen with a stone floor, stone walls, over-sized appliances, white cabinetry and a massive center work island with what appears to be a butcher block counter top that is lit by a small sky light. The kitchen is open to an also cluttered but still cozy, window wrapped breakfast room with a stone floor, stone walls, a fab George Nelson saucer lamp and some sort of wicker high-chair pulled up to a simple parsons table. The formal dining room, also on the lowest floor, looks almost like it was built into a cave with stone floors and walls, a low beamed ceiling, and the most amazing round and chunky, rough hewn wood dining room table surrounded by heavy, wood chairs so wonky and rustic that they look to Your Mama like a woodsman hacked them out of tree trunks and glued them together with tree sap. Above the table is a once trendy, somewhat passe, but still very appropriate deer antler chandelier.

The scenic and calming wooded grounds are probably painfully beautiful at the height of leaf peeping season and there are views of the Hudson River through the trees. Miz Gudmundsdottir has installed a fenced playground for her young daughter and a second small structure on the property is, according to listing information, currently used as a Pilates studio, which is odd because Your Mama never would have imagined Björk–or Mister Barney for that matter–doing anything as pedestrian as Pilates.

22 comments:

StPaulSnowman said...

I can't help but wonder if the lease agreement would include some mink whips, cod jerky and that creepy swan dress.

The Preppy Pauper said...

I can imagine seeing Fred and Wilma Flintstone happily munching away on their Brontosaurus burgers in that dining room. I think Bjorn, God bless, her has taken the rough-hewn look into acid trip territory here.

angeleyes said...

I really like the idea of the skylight illuminating a centrally located kitchen island. The white painted wood ceiling and woodwork contrast nicely with the stone. I wonder why they didn't included a photo of the room I'm most curious about - the top floor vaulted living room.

The Preppy Pauper said...

...sorry not Bjorn, Bjork...I'm such a dork

Sandpiper said...

Snowman, we've got to help her with that front facade vine mess. If you agree to keep the ladder steady, I'll shimmy up there with my power shears.

Angeleyes, was it you the other day that mentioned an unusual "word verification" before posting? Mine just now is "collites."

StPaulSnowman said...

Sandpiper; normally, I would have been happy to steady the ladder for you but after hearing all the California chillun saying how much rats luv' them some ivy, I have to assume that rats would be part of the equation. I can handle snakes, spiders and even chihuahuas..........but rats are such opportunists.....I think rats would be a deal breaker. There could possibly be lots of rats in New York.......but, of course, I don't know that for sure. I can only deal with our Minnesota rats who are usually nice, enjoy hotdish and wear little Eddie Bauer down vests for much of the year.

Anonymous said...

Nice setting. The house doesn't display the personality i'd expect, but then maybe Bjork saves it for the stage. When I google mapped this place, a bunch of search results popped up. Evidently, Angelina Jolie grew up on Woods Rd.

Anonymous said...

That town is actually Palisades, NY not Snedens landing. Name changed a while back. The area is heavily wooded and rocky with some homes getting no mail delivery. No worry about rats. Never seen any there. Mostly Deer, raccoons, etc.

angeleyes said...

That would be me Sandpiper, and the term was "flesh", although several others previously have also mentioned a term they got which caused them to do a double take. I like Mama's verification word provider. It's text is quirky and different. BTW, that ladder pic is something. It dosen't look staged either. Yikes.

RiverView said...

Having grown up around this community I can tell you this house is a major bargain. Pieces of land in Snedens Landing have sold for less, and they didn't even have the river view. Considering she bought the house in 2002 for 1.4, and did some major renovations, a 400 grand increase is a drop in the bucket. This home on the water will definitely go fast.

MarkyMark said...

I finally located it on Google Earth. I love how Google "Street View" has so totally invaded their space. And yes I can just picture Liz Taylor rummaging around the kitchen in her "Flintstones" garb.

Sandpiper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thevinylvillage said...

6 bedrooms in under 3000 square feet? It must be a rabbit warren of cubby holes...

Anonymous said...

http://losangeles.blockshopper.com/news/story/900031473-Kings_of_Leon_s_Matthew_Followill_buys_West_Hollywood_condo/


I would have though a rockstar would be buying more high end?

Anonymous said...

why is she selling? this seems like a lovely place!

Anonymous said...

Major renovations? Not apparent from the pictures. This place is pretty much a disaster on a number of levels (both literally and figuratively). The stonework in that dining room doesn't look old, as in the old foundation of a house that was then built up with a bunch of ad hoc additions, but it does look very poorly conceived and executed. It would also appear that the river views are not that great from the property, since all we see is a little peak of water through the trees. Maybe it's a winter view only, and they have no pictures from the winter? Btw, it was also a "bargain" at the price they paid back in '02 for the same reason it's a "bargain" now.

Jagiello said...

The town is Palisades. Sneden's Landing is the neighborhood where the Sneden family ran the ferry over to Dobbs Ferry, Westchester.

Anonymous said...

What an ugly, depressing house. Is that a folding cafeteria table in the bedroom?

Ryan said...

"That town is actually Palisades, NY not Snedens landing. Name changed a while back. "

Actually Palisades was never officially a town and still isn't. It's just a hamlet within the Town of Orangetown, NY, and the small area commonly known as Snedens Landing lies within that hamlet.

Anonymous said...

Walking the property is quite different than viewing the photos. The beautiful stone neo-gothic house is set into the hillside on 3levels and feels very much a part of nature. The land is terraced with stone retaining walls holding herb and flower gardens, a pergola and a stream surrounded by intense vegetation. There is without doubt a mystical feeling that pervades this property.
However, it appears the house will need some pulling together as the new wing and old main neo-gothic house need to relate better architecturally and space-wise. And some of Bjorks "improvements" will need to be reworked into a cohesive whole.
Whoever buys this is in for a lot of work but will reap much pleasure in the long run.

Anonymous said...

I live very close to the house, and the setting is quite beautiful. Snedens Landing has a deep sense of place, and has always been a mecca for artists (in the past, including Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, Aaron Copland, Jerome Robbins, Pinchas Zuckerman and Katherine Cornell, whose house Bill Murray now lives in), and still is (Baryshnikov, Pacino, Aidan Quinn).

Anonymous said...

Cool house, but the cooler house is Björk's home in Iceland. Actually, the house isn't as cool as its location. It's on a gnarly inverted dome-type island that's tilted upright. Seriously, just google it to know what I'm talking about. Just as cool is the fact that it was a gift given to her from the Icelandic government for "putting Iceland on the international map."