513 Remsens Ln - Upper Brookville, New York
Steeped in Long Island’s colorful history, this unique two-acre property was discovered in 2006 by an award-winning architect, Greg Andrea, who transformed it from a hundred-year-old relic into a romantic country homestead for his growing family. He envisioned an enclave of structures closely connected by brick pathways, glass breezeways, and many porches to provide discoveries at every turn and endless opportunities for enjoyment from entertaining to quiet contemplation. The entire enclave encompasses five bedrooms, seven baths, and a powder room. It includes a guest suite above the three-car garage, a pool house with kitchenette and full bath, a partially finished basement’s maids room and bath and two full baths serving three/four bedrooms on the main house second floor. While maintaining the historical charm of the original house through use of replicated period elements, the home includes Twenty-First Century comforts and technology that fit right in to the overall ambiance. The original structure, the hub of the home, was built circa 1910 to house farm equipment and farmhands working on New York governor, Nathan L. Miller’s estate, known as Elmcroft, later named the Norwich House. In the 1940’s, the farmhouse was sold and converted into a residence, later called The Flower House, but as the owners aged, so did the house. Not long after the Flower House was sold, so was the remainder of the estate to the Russians. It’s fourteen acres and 38-room brick mansion with indoor and outdoor pools were used for decades as a retreat for Russian diplomats. In January of 2016, President Obama ordered the estate closed and its residents to leave the country within 72 hours due to espionage charges. The estate’s future is uncertain, but a country club or hospitality house are possibilities being considered. Upper Brookville has long been a popular location for leaders of industry and finance to build their grand estates. Its beautiful, wooded countryside is dotted with gorgeous properties. Its residents enjoy a great location convenient to boating, golf, equestrian facilities, quaint village shopping, museums, and Long Island Railroad putting them within approximately a 40-minute commute to Manhattan. Just a couple driver shots from two golf courses, the “Flower House” is convenient to two universities, Planting Fields Arboretum, and about a half-mile to Oyster Bay Village’s waterfront park, train station and quaint shopping district. Completely gutted except for the original staircase, the main or original house is entered from the rocking chair front porch into an open floor plan surrounding the staircase. To its left, the warm and inviting dining room features a corner fireplace and room-width steps down into the living room. Flooded with sunlight through walls of diamond-pane windows, this four-season porch opens through French doors to the front lawn and the back breezeway. Both the dining room and foyer lead into the amazing eat-in country kitchen. With the feeling of a cozy farmhouse kitchen, this beautifully designed space features only the finest finishes and appliances starting with an immense center island with seating area, large sink, two dishwashers and extra-thick marble countertop matching the rest of the ample, custom, Shaker-style cabinetry. A second sink and work space overlooks the property through a double window. High-end stainless steel appliances include a gas stove, microwave/convection oven, and a French-door refrigerator. Brick floors flow past a rear French door and planning center into the comfortable family room, which enjoys a built-in television and windows on three exposures. A back vestibule opens toward the garage and driveway. The great room, awash with sunlight through three walls of French doors, offers the perfect venue for entertaining. Its floor plan provides ample room for seating, dancing, or whatever the heart desires. A stunning raised-hearth, see-through fireplace is shared with the rear verandah, a perfect setting for enjoying nature no matter the weather. In one corner of the room, a staircase ascends to the second-floor, and on the other is an adorable powder room with antique console vanity. Above the great room on the second floor, the spacious and serene master suite is in a world of its own. An open-beam, sky-lit cathedral ceiling extends over two lofts, one with window, adding to the feeling of a grand space. French doors open to a balcony that wraps around to the main building and on to the guest suite above the garage. A large walk-in closet and gas fireplace add to the suite as does a luxury master bath. This lavish spa includes the shared gas fireplace plus a frameless-glass-enclosed shower, extra-deep Japanese tub, marble-topped twin vanity with vessel sinks, and a water closet. Connected to the master suite and back stairs through a glass breezeway and cozy study, the remaining second floor includes two large bedrooms, one with open-beam cathedral ceiling and French doors to the balcony; a third, medium sized bedroom; access to the foyer stairs; two attractive baths; and a possible fourth bedroom, with door to the balcony, wrapping around a huge walk-in closet. Accessed from an outside staircase and from the balcony connecting with the second floor of the main house, this generous apartment above the garage offers abundant space for guests. It features a walk-in closet, a bath with claw-and-ball tub/shower and separate room for sink and commode, and a second balcony that provides a delightful spot for morning coffee. An open-beam, sky-lit cathedral ceiling presides over gleaming oak floors. Fenced, this captivating property seems much larger than its two acres, with sweeping level lawns partially shaded by gorgeous trees, including 100-year-old sycamores and a copper beech. A long driveway leads to a delightful three-car garage resembling a carriage house. A wisteria-draped covered brick walkway winds around the garage, under a grapevine-covered arbor to a secluded getaway. Enfolded by high hedgerows and picket fence, this delightful retreat features a unique square Gunite swimming pool wrapping around a dining island, and surrounded by a brick patio. Great for parties or a snack break, a captivating pool house includes a darling kitchenette, bath and inviting sitting area. An adjoining shady lawn is the perfect spot for croquet or volleyball. On the opposite side of the property, a paddock and small horse barn offer shade for horse or pony. The wisteria-covered brick walkway wraps from the garage, along the original main house and new building to its spacious veranda with fireplace. A glass-walled breezeway also connects the two structures from the great room to the sunny living room. Combining peace and serenity with historical charm, and just a touch of whimsy, this delightful home is truly a treasure. Come experience the “good life” in one of Long Island’s fabled “Gold Coast” communities where you will feel like you are on an endless vacation.
This listing courtesy of Douglas Elliman