Mona Lisa Smile

A Home Meant for the Big Screen

If you’re a fan of Golden Globe and Academy Award winning actress Julia Roberts, then chances are you’ve seen the popular movie drama “Mona Lisa Smile.” And if you’ve seen this classic film, chances are you’ve seen the timeless interior of a magnificent home overlooking the Hudson River in Yonkers, NY. This residence, which is currently co-listed by Scarsdale agents Dawn Knief and Mary Burr, and offered at $749,000, once served as a filming site for the major motion picture.

Mona Lisa Smile

Black and white illustration of clapperboard“Mona Lisa Smile,” which hit theatres in 2003, follows the story of a 30-year-old graduate student named Katherine Anne Watson. Katherine accepts a position teaching the history of art at Wellesley College, a private women’s institution in Massachusetts, and takes an unusual stand, swaying away from the standard educational curriculum of 1953. Determined to make a difference for the next generation of women, she chooses to focus on modern art and other spirited discussions about various topics including the meaning of Mona Lisa’s Smile. Katherine eventually becomes very close to her students over the course of the school year, serving as both an inspiration and reason to strive beyond the social expectations and limitations of women in the 1950s.

Originally built in 1900, the authentic Victorian-style home, which has since been impeccably restored, was used in the filming of various scenes of the blockbuster hit. The property offers stunning Hudson River views from numerous angles of the residence, including its western-facing wraparound porch—an inviting home feature, to say the least! Large columns, moldings, stone details and other stately and distinctive period architecture grace the home’s entrance as well, adding to its unique character and charm. The six-bedroom, three and a half-bath residence also includes well-maintained features and finishes such as high ceilings, arched doorways, restored woodwork, Venetian plaster walls and three beautiful fireplaces. While ample preservation of historic details can be found throughout its interior, the home is entirely up-to-date, boasting various modern amenities that go above and beyond all expectations, including a sophisticated sound system with built-in speakers in every room, a high tech security system and smart-home controls for lighting and sound. New bathrooms and a renovated eat-in kitchen with high end appliances, a farm sink, pantry and doors that open to an inviting porch with sunset views of the Hudson, complete the refurbished, highly appealing home.

Mona Lisa Smile

“This residence contains incredible architectural details and is filled with character and charm,” said Knief. “It exemplifies one-of-a-kind classic features and style, while at the same time presenting a loving restoration to meet today’s must-have amenities and conveniences—the best of both worlds.”

“The property is certainly a great place to call home,” added Burr.  “Situated in a fabulous location overlooking the Hudson, just 30 minutes from the heart of New York City, this well preserved home is one to surely be remembered.”
Mona Lisa Smile

The scenic property additionally contains an organic vegetable garden and the convenience of a separate garage that could easily be converted into a carriage house or home office.

Mona Lisa Smile
Julia Roberts

For more information on the property, located at 196 Shonnard Terrace, please visit our website here. You can also contact Scarsdale agent Dawn Knief by phone at 914.393.1159, or by email at

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