Ideally, the new home should feature a suite with multiple bedrooms and a bathroom for all three of their children on the same floor. “For us, that was like a dream come true,” says Karen Morris. Also on the priority list: an elegant library to house Roly’s extensive book collection.
“We had a very specific list of what we were looking for and this house had everything…and more,” says Morris, who was immediately captivated by the elegant, circa 1911 Italian Renaissance-style estate. There was much to like about the home, but “the thing we fell madly in love with was the library. My husband grew up in an old house in Philadelphia with a room very similar” to the home’s expansive reading room, which hosts a lavish, sit-down dinner for 80 on New Year’s Eve.
But now that their children, ages 21, 24 and 27, are grown, says Morris, president of Madison Avenue investment firm Morris Associates LLC, they have put the house on the market. “My husband and I are looking to be a little bit more mobile. It’s such a big house for just the two of us.”
The 9,000 square-foot, seven-bedroom, five and a half-bath estate is situated on 1.2 private acres of land, which by Bronxville standards is among the most impressive in terms of lot size. “In the last 10 years in Bronxville Village, there have only been five properties that have traded that are on more than an acre of property,” says Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty listing agent Kathleen Collins.
The property’s allure is found both in its architectural beauty and its rural location, long a haven for writers, musicians and artists. Bronxville, with its grand residences dating to the late 1800s, is tucked away in the south central portion of Westchester County, and is home to Concordia College, Sarah Lawrence College, Lawrence Hospital, a vibrant downtown shopping area and more than 70 acres of parkland. The village looks much today as it did when it was fully developed around the 1940s. Over the years, Bronxville has earned the reputation of a model suburban community “that is endlessly copied, but never matched.”
“What I also love about the home is the close-knit community and the commute,” says the homeowner. Bronxville is located only 15 miles and a 25-minute train ride away from midtown Manhattan.
Throughout the decades the estate, which evokes the splendor of a European villa, has been lovingly maintained and updated by its owners, who preserved its architectural integrity, says Collins. “It’s grand, but very comfortable for a young family. It offers Old World charm and all the modern amenities.”
A circular driveway sweeps up to the front loggia, and an entry vestibule opens into a central foyer, richly detailed with dentil moldings and paneled walls. This exceptional craftsmanship, rarely seen today, continues throughout the home. Formal rooms extend to the right and left, and French doors beyond the main stairway reveal vast views of the valley. “Our property might be the highest point in Bronxville. You can see over the tree line all the way down to the city lights,” says Morris. Collins concurs: “The home is located very high up on a piece of property, offering lots of privacy and beautiful views, which are hard to come by in Bronxville.”
A formal reception room flows into the L-shaped living room with its coffered ceilings, fluted columns and marble fireplace. Hand-painted walls adorning the banquet-sized dining room and an elaborate paneled fireplace contribute to its palatial air. The kitchen, renovated in 2004, boasts custom cabinetry by Garth Kitchens of Scarsdale, an oversized center island and walk-in pantry. The apron sink, ship’s lantern pendant lights and custom Ann Sacks tile backsplash add to the authenticity of the décor.
The lower level features a tumbled marble spa, and his and hers changing rooms function as cabanas for the heated pool. A door leads to the outdoor putting green. A mirrored exercise room, family room and media center are also found on the lower level, where roomy sports closets accommodate gear for year-round activities, from golf clubs to skis and fishing rods. And tucked behind an authentic bank vault door is a custom wine cellar.
“It’s an incredible house,” says Morris. “It’s hard not to love it.”
21 Ridge Road in Bronxville, New York (Web ID: 3309499) is offered at $8,900,000 USD. For more information, please visit 21Ridge.com or contact Kathleen Collins with Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty at +1 914 715 6052 or firstname.lastname@example.org.