Calling all dreamers looking for a place to live out their vision just outside of New York City, as Westchester County’s largest privately owned property has hit the market for the first time in over a half -century. We take a look at what a spectacular home in breathtaking countryside is full of potential.
Phrases like “a once in a lifetime opportunity” tend to be used quite loosely in the real estate world. After all, almost every home sale is unique, in that homes change with each new owner who walks through the doors.
Sometimes, however, you come across a place that really makes sense of the sentence; and Stonewall Farm in a town called Granite Springs in New York State is one of them. It’s a 740-acre estate with a spectacular country house as its centerpiece, surrounded by exquisite gardens, a huge range of other buildings, and something really special: one of Europe’s most successful stud farms and horse trainers. the United States. And yet, all of this is less than 50 miles from midtown Manhattan, and for sale via Luxury Portfolio International at $100 million.
Where to start with a house like this? The main house – all 24,000 square feet – is the obvious place. It was built in 2003 to a design by New York architect Rebecca Rasmussen, while the interiors were done by highly influential British interior designer Kelly Hoppen.
The latter’s work here is really something else: take the bookcase, for example, with its dark wood finish that creates an unforgettable effect. It’s consciously – and yet successfully – blending both classical and contemporary, and East and West.
This same pattern is repeated elsewhere in the house: there is a lovely, delightfully bright orangery that would spruce up any country home, a kitchen-diner that mixes bold dark flooring with a cozy and fun layout, perfect for a busy family life; and there is a living room with comfortable sofas and an open fire, surrounded by an imported English stone fireplace.
Yet within these four walls you will also find a double-height atrium-style seating area with a wall of glass framed by black windows and Japanese prints on the staircase to one side. This staircase, almost improbably, leads to an interior karesansui, a traditional Japanese stone garden of the type you’d expect to find in one of Kyoto’s temples.
Wherever you look, the contrast is clear: screened walls here, Japanese bathtub there; a David Linley sofa in this corner and a Qi Dynasty Buddha in the other, and both sharing space in a room lit by a Hermes chandelier.
Although the house is full of style, it is clear that this was a house also built for the good life. There’s the kind of wine cellar an upscale hotel would be proud of, with space for 2,200 bottles and a dedicated tasting room; there is also a pub-slash-games room.
And the swimming pool? It’s not so much a pool as a full recreation center. The pool pavilion, stretched around a beautiful interior garden with wisteria-covered walkways, spans 4,000 square feet, with a 20-meter swimming pool flanked by French doors that open onto the spa, gym and gardens.
We use the plural ‘gardens’ advisedly, as there are four distinct areas: a Japanese garden, an English rose garden, a butterfly garden and a herb garden, while in the landscape beyond are woods , ponds, parks and orchards – as well as one of the great attractions of the place, the thoroughbred stud farm and the aforementioned training stables.
Vendors have spent decades building this side of Stonewall Farm. Today there is room for 24 broodmares and 48 yearlings as well as paddocks, paddocks and a 1¼ mile racecourse. Horses born and bred here have won 40 major races in the United States and competed in the Kentucky Derby, and with three nearby tracks – the nearest Belmont, just an hour away – it’s clear the new owners could carry on with that. as their central interest. Yet focusing too much on equestrian facilities does Stonewall Farm a disservice, because there’s so much more potential here.
With so much land – and half the property still undeveloped – all sorts of options are on the table. It could be a residential development, the site of a newly established higher education center, or even (as agents suggest) the perfect place to found a training academy for an early world of sport, in the mold of Cal baseball legend Ripken Jr’s Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach. Could this be the site of a new David Beckham Football Soccer Academy?
These big ideas even have a bespoke headquarters, in the form of a stunning stone building that was once (probably) the largest mineral water bottling plant in the world. The Granite Springs Bottling Co, built in the 19e century to operate the seven wells which still each supply 250 gallons per day, is currently used as a 36,000 square foot garage, but has served many other purposes since its time. It was actually leased by Chase Bank during WWII as a secure document storage facility, and even today includes offices and residential apartments that seem to make it the perfect new headquarters for a startup.
We could go on all day – Stonewall Farm really is the kind of property that starts making your dreams come true. One thing’s for sure, though: given that it’s been half a century since the place last changed hands, this really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anyone in charge.
Stonewall Farm, Granite Springs, NY, is for sale at $100 million through Hope Mazzola and Nikki McMann of William Raveis Real Estate, via Luxury Portfolio International – see more details and photos.