If you do not have a spare $22 million to spend, you may have to settle for drooling over some fabulous photos instead — but these shots of the David and Peggy Rockefeller estate known as Hudson Pines are worth pouring over.
Collectors of furniture, porcelain, silver and paintings, the Rockefellers furnished their homes with the fine pieces they collected. Hudson Pines, at 180 Bedford Road in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., was recently listed – just one of several Rockefeller properties on the market after the death of philanthropist David Rockefeller this year at the age of 101.
Worth an estimated $3.3 billion at the time of his death according to Forbes, Rockefeller was the last surviving grandchild of John D. Rockefeller, who built the family fortune with Standard Oil.
Hudson Pines has been in the Rockefeller family hands since it was constructed in 1938 for David’s sister Abby Rockefeller Milton. David and Peggy purchased the property in the 1940s and it stayed an important part of the family holdings. Peggy died in 1996, so with David’s death their wishes about the disbursement of their property is being carried out by the family.
The listing photos give a good glimpse into some of their collecting tastes, although you will have to guess at the paintings, since all have been photoshopped into abstract swirls. While many of the paintings in the Rockefeller collection — works by artists such as Cezanne, Manet and Picasso — are heading to museums, you may have a chance on some of the other fine pieces.
More than 2,000 belongings from the David and Peggy Rockefeller estate are scheduled to be auctioned by Christie’s in the spring of 2018. So possibly if some deep pockets really took a liking to the style of the house as pictured, it could be refurnished with some of the same pieces. Added bonus: just as the couple wished, the proceeds from the Rockefeller auction will benefit a dozen environmental, educational, cultural and medical charities.
While you ogle the fine furnishings and ceramics in the listing photographs you shouldn’t ignore the architecture. Deceptively restrained, the 1938 house was designed by one of New York’s great early 20th century residential architects, Mott B. Schmidt.
While best known for his town and country homes for the wealthy in Manhattan and the nearby suburbs, Schmidt was a Brooklyn boy. Born Mott Brooshovt Schmidt in 1889 in Middletown, N.Y., while still a toddler he moved with his family to a brand-new home in Brooklyn at 671 Park Place, between Franklin and Bedford avenues — the house is part of the tiny Park Place Historic District.
Mott graduated from Pratt Institute with a Certificate of Architecture at the age of 17 and after some time travelling and apprenticing, he launched his practice in 1912. There are at least two examples of his early work still standing in Brooklyn: the townhouses at 40 and 42 Monroe Place, constructed in 1913. After some strategic commissions amongst the social elite in Manhattan, he launched a career designing country and city homes for some of New York’s wealthiest families, including Vanderbilts, Astors and Morgans.
While a 20th century architect, Schmidt looked to the past for inspiration, embracing the stark and graceful restraint of 18th century architecture. That’s not to say he didn’t embrace the modern — his homes were built for more modern living than the grand Gilded Age country homes of the previous decades.
Hudson Pines typifies his work — a Georgian influenced country house of red brick relieved with accents of white in the windows, doors and cornice. In “The Architecture of Mott B. Schmidt” by Mark Alan Hewitt, the house is described as one of Mott’s “finest country houses.”
On the interior, the house includes a Mott signature — a floating, curved staircase with an iron railing, a design detail that appears in numerous of his town and country homes.
The house, while simple in style, is more than spacious at more than 11,000 square feet.
There are 11 bedrooms and more than a dozen bathrooms, including a master wing with its own “dressing galleries,” according to the listing.
There’s a wine vault and offices in the basement along with “hobby rooms” — although for what kind of hobbies it is unclear.
The house is sited on 75 acres which includes a heated pool, multiple gardens and several outbuildings.
There’s a playhouse, greenhouse, barns and a three-bedroom gate house. The spacious grounds also hold, conveniently, a helipad.
In addition to showcasing the Rockefellers’ collecting acumen, the property was used as a working farm. Peggy Rockefeller, active in farmland conservation and environmental causes, began Hudson Pines Farm and focused on promoting the Simmental breed of cattle. After her death, the family continued the farm up until this month, when all the cattle were sold. So while you may have missed your chance on bidding on some cattle there is still a chance to to open up your wallet for some art, or the whole estate.
Listed by David Turner and Anthony Cutugno of Houlihan Lawrence-Bedford/Pound Ridge Brockeridge, the property is priced at $22 million. Tempting?
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