The Hudson Valley is a distinct and diverse architectural region with centuries-old buildings ranging from elaborate Hudson River mansions to one-of-a-kind farmhouses and carriage houses among its bucolic rural towns and villages. Long before its settlement by the Europeans, the fertile valley sustained many communities drawn to the bounty and beauty of the area. The region has since enjoyed continuous growth and prosperity, dotted by a mosaic of homes reflecting a diversity of architectural styles from the Federal period to the revivals of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Many of these homes are lovingly preserved to reflect their period conditions, offering Old World charm with modern amenities, while others reflect the artists and creatives that have helped put their own stamp on this unique area of the country.
The extraordinary circa 1887 Bennett-Deyrup House, located on the Hudson River in Upper Nyack, New York, is one of the best examples of Queen Anne-style Victorian architecture in the area. Originally built for J. A. Bennett, U.S. Consul to Bogota, it later was home to the Deyrup family for most of the 20th century. Alvin Johnson/Deyrup co-founded the New School of Social Research and established the “University in Exile” program. The mansion, which underwent a masterful $4 million renovation that preserved period architectural details, features a classic asymmetrical exterior design with balconies, turret, belvedere and more. Period features include: embossed Lincrusta ceilings and walls; stained and art glass windows; eight fireplaces, three with original raised Victorian tile work; and four decorative stone mantels.
The Sickles-Tallman House in Orangeburg, New York, which dates to the late 1700s, is part of Rockland County history. Nestled on 2.2 private acres, the restored red Dutch colonial estate is one of the few remaining sandstone Sickle family homes in the area once known as Sickletown. It was once owned by Zita Johann, an Austrian-American actress best known for her performance in the 1932 film, The Mummy, with Boris Karloff. Lovingly restored with over $600,000 in upgrades, the home features Early American touches such as exposed-stone interior walls and intricately carved and tiled mantelpieces, coupled with modern conveniences including a family room with radiant heat, stunning Gunite salt water pool and master Savant system controlling all lighting, television, sound and security systems by phone app.
The historic, artistic community of Snedens Landing provides a rustic backdrop for the Clock House, a cottage retreat which gets its nickname from a focal point above the home’s entrance way: a European style clock that protrudes from the slate roof. Noted interior designer Ernest de la Torre, who has been featured in Elle Décor’s list of 25 Top Interior Designers and Architectural Digest for his work, transformed the home with extraordinary architectural design, full of curated experiences at every turn. The home features a dramatic double-height living room and details such as walls stamped in gilded leather from Paris, an 18th century fireplace mantel from London and wood ceiling beams from a 19th century barn in Pennsylvania.
The Big House, a manor-style, historic home also in Snedens Landing, is known as one of the oldest homes in Rockland County and, perhaps, the country. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most significantly, George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette met and dined here during the American Revolution as guests of owner Jonathan Lawrence Jr. It features many charming historic details, including wide-plank floors, 1700s wood paneling, cherry ceiling beams, five working fireplaces and 23-inch-thick walls. The kitchen features an old-style Dutch fireplace, with a large firebox open on both sides.
The homes in Snedens Landing are as varied as the people who built them. This pristine, renovated contemporary on a wooded oasis reached by a private road is one of the newer houses in the secluded hamlet, which dates to the 1600s. An extensive, architect-driven renovation transformed the existing contemporary into a 4, 200 square-foot modern house ready for entertaining, with five bedrooms, a large chef’s kitchen, mason-crafted stone deck, three wood burning fireplaces, unique arbors and gardens, complete with a rustic handmade chicken coop.
This majestic, artful stone carriage house features a magnificent open colossal floor plan of 9,000 square feet and 11-foot ceilings, polished concrete radiant heated floors and Italian marble baths. The lower level has separate entrance featuring an artist’s work space and recreation options. A contemporary staircase leads to an upper-level platform library with built-in book cases and exposed beam rafters, four bedrooms and two baths to complete a truly a unique home.
Dating back to the 1800s, the gated enclave of Tuxedo Park is known for being a playground for New York’s wealthy seeking a quiet respite, outdoor recreation and a tightly-knit community surrounded by stunning woods, parks and private lakes. The Patterson Brook Carriage House, an original Wagstaff Carriage house circa 1896, is a masterpiece completely rebuilt in 2008, with attention to recrafting key elements of the original design and architectural details. Unique features include a converted former horse stable and two garages with radiant heat and 15-car capacity, providing exceptional spaces for showcasing a fine automobile collection. It also could be a studio for musicians and artists.