“This is just a spectacular setting,” says McCooey. “The current owners loved the fact that the property was so private and had such a lush landscape. They felt this was the perfect place to raise their family.”
Also unconventional is the scale: This is no over-the-top mansion. All of the comfortably-sized rooms were meant to be occupied. The main house dining room, for example, with its matte gold wallpaper (it resembles straw mats) can seat about ten, yet it doesn’t feel like a compromise. The main house living room focuses purely on the view, with two distinct seating areas, one of which has a stone fireplace and access to an expansive stone patio.
Off the large kitchen, a compact dining area is tucked into a three-sided windowed space. The master bedroom might even be considered small — but again, that masterful view, afforded by large windows everywhere, makes each room feel larger.
Originally built by a bachelor intent on entertaining, the original floor plan had a master suite on the first floor adjacent to the living room. The current owners converted it to an office, but a luxurious bathroom remains. Upstairs are the master with his-and-hers walk-in closets and a sumptuous ensuite. On the other side of the house is an additional suite. Downstairs are two workout rooms and an additional bedroom that could be used as an in-law or au-pair suite.
Obviously this was a man who didn’t necessarily want to wake up and have coffee with his guests because he built a guest house just steps away, with one bedroom and a large open entertaining space that offers another jaw-dropping view. The current owners added a second guest house that contains four bedrooms, each tucked into a corner of the structure, and a central great room with a full-sized bar, fieldstone fireplace and ample room for both a pool table and a grand piano.
In total, there are nine bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.
But with the outdoor areas here, there’s little need to remain indoors, no matter how tempting the surroundings.
The compound has a pool perched almost on the edge of the Long Island Sound; the property has a lush lawn and a four-ball court behind the guest house. There’s also a private beach — the perfect launch pad for kayaking or canoeing — and a deep-water dock.
“A deep water dock is pretty rare,” says McCooey, who points out that the American Yacht Club is just a quick sail away.
What’s most important, especially in this enclave, is privacy.
The former estate of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s parents is on one side — the 1949 Spitzer mansion, also once the home of philanthropist Enid Haupt and early film industry tycoon George Skouros, was purchased in 2015 and then torn down by the buyer, who also owns an adjacent property. So at present, the property next door is a large, open lawn. On the other side, a stately brick Georgian sits well back on its own private property.
Standing on the end of the long, stone dock, it’s possible to feel like there’s nobody else around.
And that, says Michael McCooey is the biggest draw. “You have this feeling of absolute privacy and absolute beauty, yet you’re within minutes of downtown Rye, the train station and Rye’s amazing school system.”
The current owners raised a family here and there is definitely appeal for a new family to do the same. This is a home that was meant to be lived in and enjoyed, says McCooey.
Published by LoHud.com