There’s plenty of room to stretch out on this 52-acre spread and the centerpiece is a 1940s manse brimming with medieval style on the outside and mid-century character on the interior. Christened Valkryia, the property was designed as an integral part of the private community of Lake Valhalla.
The development was the brainchild of Ludwig (aka Lewis) Novoting and Peter M. Sivertsen, partners in the Globe Slicing Machine Company, which, as the name suggests, produced a cold-cut slicer to a patented design by Sivertsen. In 1928, the partners bought 1,100 acres of land in the Hudson Highlands to create their dream retreat.
Construction on the community, which was included in the Valhalla Highlands National Register Historic District, began in 1930. According to the designation report, 54 rustic, picturesque cabins were built by Norwegian builders and craftsmen on the east side of the lake by the 1940s. Communal facilities including a recreation lodge, a tea pavilion and shuffleboard and tennis courts were also available to residents. Early ads for the “strictly private mountain resort” noted that the cabins were available for sale to “refined Christian families.”
The house on the market at 22 Valkryia in Cold Spring, N.Y. was built for Novoting and wife Josephine. Novoting remained an active part of the community he created until his death in 1985.
While the log and fieldstone cabins have storybook charm, Valkyria, it’s name a nod to Norse mythology and Richard Wagner, has a more substantial presence on the landscape. Designed by Westchester County architect Erik Kaeyer, the stone manse has touches of Tudor Revival style, with asymmetrical massing, half timbering on the peaked side gables and leaded glass windows.
A photograph in the collection of the Hudson River Museum shows the exterior of the house nearing completion in 1941. While Ludwig and his wife Josephine were recorded in the 1930 census as living in The Bronx, once the house was complete it became their full-time residence.
A mix of 1940s and 1950s styles can be found in the interior. The over 5,000 square foot home includes an enviable wood-lined lounge complete with a curved bar with a built-in fish tank. A rustic stone fireplace at the other end of the room is emblazoned with an “N” in honor of the original owners.
The dining room has built-in china cabinets, walls adorned with a bucolic landscape and windows out to an equally enticing view.
There’s a vintage kitchen complete with original cabinets and a linoleum floor. The two full baths shown have a bit of a glam style, one decked out in period green fixtures with a window of glass bricks and shimmering wall tiles.
If you want a bit of space from your guests the 52-acre property includes a caretaker’s house and a guest house. There’s also a boathouse, barns and a pool.
A privately published history of the community by architect Joseph Pell Lombardi, who spent youthful summers there and later restored one of the original lodges, includes snapshots showing immaculately landscaped gardens that hosted gatherings for residents. The landscape included touches of whimsy, including a troll garden inhabited by cast-iron elves.
The house left the Novoting family hands in 1997. After a few ownership changes, it was bought in 2018 by Slopeline LLC, an affiliate of Scenic Hudson. It was part of a purchase of more than 1,000 acres by the organization to ensure the conservation of views and the watershed in the Hudson Highlands. While the organization is selling this property it is likely that a conservation easement would be put in place in keeping with the organization’s mission.
The former Novoting property is listed for $3.3 million with Heather Fitzgerald of Robert A. McCaffrey Realty.
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