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Snedens Landing: Then and Now

 

Once upon a time, for artists and celebrities already maintaining a residence in New York City but looking to purchase an additional property near the hustle and bustle of the city, they chose either Snedens Landing in Palisades or South Mountain Road in New City.  The virtues of both enclaves have been extolled as far back as the 1900s.  In fact, I recently came across an article on the topic from July 1952 for Park East magazine. In author Pamela Whittaker’s descriptions of both markets it is evident that as much as things change, they also stay the same.  In fact, the article and its descriptions of the lifestyles could have been written today.

In this two-part series we will look at Snedens Landing and South Mountain Road and compare the nuances of each area’s lifestyle and how they have changed over the years.

Life in Snedens Landing

Seven Oaks

Seven Oaks is one of the oldest estate properties in Snedens Landing and on the market for the first time in 38 years for $4.8 million.

Today, Snedens Landing is many things to many different types of people including a retreat for the artistic.  As Bloomberg recently noted:  “Hollywood and Broadway elites from Laurence Olivier to Ethel Barrymore set up residence here, and celebrities have been coming, and going, ever since….Full of winding roads and dead-end streets, Snedens is the kind of place where the homes have names ….There is little more in the way of commerce than a library and a post office, and much of the area falls within historic districts, with several homes on the National Register of Historic Places. The draw is the seclusion and natural beauty, and the prize is the Hudson and woodsy land around.”

Snedens also offers a community center with farmers market and a great local food market and cafe just outside the residential area on Route 9w. And as we looked at in a recent blog, Snedens Landing also has been the childhood home to many a future star.

In reading Pamela Whittaker’s description from 1952, it is amazing how much has stayed the same.  She paints a picture of an area whose beauty and serenity – and its privacy- appealed to artists.  “Snedens’ hours are haphazard…What commuting there is generally has no precise schedule, and for that reason is by car rather than by bus or train.”  This is very much still the case, as Snedens remains accessible mainly by bus or car, which just adds to its air of privacy and mystique.

Cliff House is a romantic and private Hudson Riverfront home in Snedens Landing, currently on the market for $2.495 million

Cliff House is a romantic and private Hudson Riverfront home in Snedens Landing, currently on the market for $2.495 million.

An interesting change Ms. Whittaker noted at the time was that Snedens began as a more communal area, “young families pooled food and money to get by, and gave each other frequent and lavish parties…” By the time she wrote the article in 1952, she noted many residents were more involved in their careers and parties were less frequent.  I think she would be interested to see that in present day Snedens has come almost full circle, with that spirit of community distinctly in the air.

In part two of our blog series on Snedens Landing and South Mountain Road we will look at how life on South Mountain Road has evolved over the years.

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