Community Spotlight: Unique Homes of Tuxedo Park, New York
Once the home of tycoons, Tuxedo Park is recognized as the first gated community in the United States. Both J.P. Morgan and William Waldorf Astor had homes there, and the village gave its name to the revolutionary tuxedo that modernized formal wear by inspiring men to replace their traditional tailcoats with shorter dinner jackets. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the village was built in the 1880s by Pierre Lorillard, the tobacco heir, as a rustic hunting and fishing retreat for his affluent New York friends. Considered one of the nation’s finest examples of pre-World War I architecture, Tuxedo Park is home to some 300 historic residences nestled in a very private nature sanctuary of scenic valleys and stunning glacial lakes, several suitable for swimming and stocked with trout and bass for fishing. The 2,600-acre private compound also offers an abundance of hiking, biking and riding paths. The commute to New York Penn Station via New Jersey Transit rail service is just under 50 minutes.
160 Continental Road, Tuxedo Park, New York
Much like the tuxedo itself, historic Tuxedo Park and its architecture never seem to go out of style. Available for the first time in 40 years, the circa 1891 Horace Waldo Cottage epitomizes the beauty of early Tuxedo Park architecture, with its natural materials, preserved details and timeless style. A walk through the Federal-style doorway with fanlight and leaded glass sidelights leads to the first level, which offers formal rooms and cozy gathering spaces. Eight fireplaces with early millwork grace the first floor. A light-filled, professional-grade chef’s kitchen beckons serious cooks and family gatherings. Enjoy dinners or morning coffee in the sun-soaked, enclosed porch accessible from three core living areas. The second and third levels have five bedrooms, including a master suite with sitting room. Recreation rooms on the lower level have radiant heat floors, a wood-burning stove and access to a covered patio. Set on 1.2 acres of rolling lawns and walking distance to key Tuxedo Park amenities, this beauty is ready to be called home.
Tuxedo Park has a rich history and surprisingly diverse inventory of homes, many designed by famous architects from the Gilded Age, but also converted stables and carriage houses as well as a sampling of contemporary homes. Nothing shows off distinct architecture quite like a juxtaposition of two styles, a hallmark of 14 Butternut Road, a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home that is one of the area’s first Gilded Age mansions. Designed in 1970 by artist Edgar Bertolucci, the elegant 6.8-acre, gated, international-style glass house known as The Gallery, is framed by dramatic stone foundations. The private and serene property features breathtaking, west-facing, panoramic views of Tuxedo Lake, 14-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows and exquisite grounds, featuring tall oaks, stone terraces, intricately built stone fountains, ponds and walking paths, all designed by Ferruccio Vitale, landscape architect for 19th century tycoons including Condé Nast, Mellon and Guggenheim.
What is so compelling about Tuxedo Park? “It’s simply a magical place,” said Barbara du Pont, a veritable expert on the gated enclave’s real estate sales, trends and historic homes as well as a resident for nearly 25 years. “Homebuyers are captivated by the beauty of the scenery: the serenity of the community’s three lakes, hills and winding roads, vistas of private gardens and untamed natural surroundings,” she said. This magnificent historic estate at 122 Circuit Road originally was built as a summer cottage around 1890 for John H. Foster, with beautiful architectural details on a grand scale. The stone and cedar shingle home, renovated with modern amenities, sits on 2.2 acres and features majestic lawns and an elegant interior, with hand-painted murals, a 17th century English fireplace, oak-paneled living room, grand dining room and five en suite bedrooms.
If you feel inspired by majestic sunrise views and unique waterfront settings, The Old Fish Hatchery is a quaint cottage that checks off both boxes. Built in 1887 by the Tuxedo Club as a fish hatchery to stock the Tuxedo Lake with bass, salmon and rainbow trout, it was converted into a home in the early 1920s and renovated in 2008. This magical 1.7-acre retreat features a lively brook that flows from Tuxedo Lake to the smaller Wee Wah Lakes, stone walls and massive trees. A charming wood plank bridge leads to the home which features former hatchery beds that cascade down from shallow to deep where fish once were raised. With over 200 feet of lakefront to enjoy boating, fishing and swimming, you will feel like you have your own private park. The cottage has ceramic tile and hardwood floors throughout, chef’s kitchen with dining area, fireplace, master suite and sitting rooms looking out to the lakes and a recently added heated swimming pool. Although only 40 miles from midtown Manhattan, the surroundings feel like a world away.