March Begins with Big Home Sales
- Written by Sophia Albert
- Category: Real Estate
37 Morris Lane
Nestled behind mature landscaping, a front circle welcomes you to this exclusive and spectacular one acre+ estate featuring a classic brick Colonial built in 1927 and fully renovated in 2012/13 in the sought-after Murray Hill neighborhood in Scarsdale. The home is three levels and 10,179 square feet of custom-crafted, high-end luxury with a perfect contemporary flow. All was rebuilt with top-of-the-line materials in 2012/13 including slate roof, windows, HVAC, kitchen, baths, walls, doors, insulation...the works! The first level features a fabulous living room with fireplace, spacious dining room with reception/bar area, sun-filled study with French doors to a front patio, game room with French doors to the back patio, modern chef's kitchen with Wolf/SubZero stainless appliances, oversized family room with fireplace and French doors to the pool/yard and glorious pool views from the main entertaining rooms. A formal powder room, a large pantry closet near the kitchen, a mudroom with a large walk-in coat closet, side door and a family powder room complete this level. The second level boasts a primary bedroom suite with an office/sitting room, roof deck, luxurious primary bath and dressing room plus four large bedrooms all with beautiful en-suite baths and ample closet space and a laundry room. The lower level includes a large, bright playroom, gym area, mechanicals, storage and a coveted, attached four-car garage. The property is enhanced by a 20 x 40 heated pool, spacious brick patios with a gas line for a barbecue, outdoor cabana full bath and an absolutely stunning, mature copper beech tree. There is a level, park-like front property for kicking around a ball and separately fenced pool area. This unique estate is turn-key, 30 minutes on Metro North to New York City, 15 minutes to Westchester Airport and in the award-winning Scarsdale school district.
Sale Price: $5,000,000
Assessed Value: $4,050,000
Real Estate Taxes: $102,151
20 Vernon Road
This fully updated and expanded 7 bedroom Scarsdale colonial has it all. The heart of this home is the brand new chefs kitchen with high end appliances, custom cabinetry and oversized center island. The main living area is incredibly open with easy transitions from room to room. Kitchen, family room, dining area and living room all flow together. There is a large private home office, butlers pantry with 98 bottle wine refrigerator, food pantry, mudroom with cubbies and a bedroom with full bath. Upstairs there are 5 bedrooms, open play area and gym. The primary bedroom has two large custom walk-in closets, double vanity bath with steam shower. The lower level has a full bedroom and bath as well as finished space. Enjoy .45 acres of flat fenced property with stone patio and built in barbeque just minutes to parks, stores and Scarsdale village. Free bus to school.
Sale Price: $3,205,000
Assessed Value: $2,475,000
Real Estate Taxes: $62,810
49 Fayette Road
This chic 2021 new construction is nestled on a quiet street with a distinguished curb appeal. Built with excellence by a local Scarsdale builder. First level features a windowed stairway with custom millwork, lofty living room, dining room, and a family room with ceiling detail, alcove oak shelves, linear fireplace. Gourmet kitchen with inset cabinets, high-end appliances, and a large island opens to a spacious deck. Mudroom with cubbies, insulated garage, Tesla wiring. Upper level offers expansive hallway, 3 bedrooms with custom closets, modern baths, and laundry room. Majestic master suite features a breathtaking loft ceiling, with designer closets, bonus room, and elegant spa-like bathroom with cathedral ceiling, shower, soaking tub, and dual vanity. Lower level is ideal for entertainment. Light-filled 9 foot ceiling with large rec room, bedroom/office with custom closet, bathroom, lounge area with bar, sliding door to covered veranda, and tranquil backyard.
Sale Price: $2,385,000
4 Seely Place
Beautifully renovated home situated on nearly an acre of private park-like grounds complete with salt water pool and spa. The first floor boasts a gourmet chef's kitchen with high-end appliances, breakfast area, stunning dining room with butler's pantry, and gracious living room with oversized fireplace. Off the kitchen is a spacious family room that leads to an inviting covered porch. On the second floor is the master bedroom with vaulted ceiling, huge walk-in closet and luxurious spa bathroom. There are three additional family bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom, and the laundry room. The lower level is ideal for a home office or gym and has a full bathroom. Conveniently located near schools, train and shops.
Sale Price: $1,7000,000
Assessed Value: $1,840,000
Real Estate Taxes: $60,720
4 Penny Lane
Well built and well maintained home constructed with quality by the builder for his own family. Brand new roof with lifetime warranty, new HVAC system with NEST thermostats. Lovely level yard for play and entertainment, all in the heart of Edgemont. Large rooms with lots of natural light, arched openings, great flow with wide hallways, you never feel cramped or confined. Primary suite features walk-in closet, dressing area, sitting / office area and private balcony. Eat-in-kitchen with large island and deck for grilling or Al Fresco dining. Living room with vaulted ceilings. Family room features sunken fireplace sitting area and access to deck and yard, perfect for parties and special occasions. Well-proportioned yet cozy den for your home office or quiet reading / study. Fifth bedroom located on lower level with full bath directly across the hallway, separate entrance - perfect for guests or nanny. Possible pool site. Large Laundry room with sink and storage finish out this level. Oversized 2 car garage.
Sale Price: $1,275,000
Assessed Value: $1,038,200
Real Estate Taxes: $34,506
315 Clayton Road
Welcome to an exceptional Scarsdale property where world-class recreation takes center stage. LEED built in 2004, the 5,832 square foot sports home features a breathtaking great room with soaring ceilings, stone floors and a tall gas fireplace. Stainless steel appliances fill the open kitchen, and an ingenious serving bar opens to the magnificent patios and tennis court. In the opposite wing, there are two large bathrooms, and a laundry room. In between, this truly unique building boasts a phenomenal, indoor half basketball court topped by sky-high trestle-beam ceilings and wrapped in French doors that connect the space to the deck. On the upper level, you'll find a bedroom suite and a mezzanine gym. The lower level offers a rec room and storage. Two adjacent flat lots and a third parcel with 6BD Chateau are also available. Prestigious Edgemont School District location just 35 minutes north of New York City.
Sale Price: $1,275,000
Assessed Value: $1,975,000
Real Estate Taxes: $67,917
15 Vernon Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Stately stone and clapboard Colonial with a slate roof and copper gutters on 2/3 of a level acre boasting impressive curb appeal and exceptionally grand living and entertaining spaces, with room for a pool, in the award-winning Scarsdale school district. A lovely foyer welcomes you to this nearly 6000 square foot south-facing home featuring an oversized, sun-filled family room with custom-made built-in entertainment center including wet bar and a 3-sided fireplace opening up to the adjacent fabulous gathering/playroom with sliding glass door to the expansive deck, formal living room with wood-burning fireplace, formal dining room with bay window, eat-in-kitchen, powder room, and mudroom connecting to the two-car garage. The second level showcases a primary bedroom suite with two full bathrooms, a spacious dressing area, multiple outfitted walk-in closets and stunning property views, two spacious family bedrooms share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom, a third family bedroom with en-suite bathroom, and a fourth family bedroom/den with built in bookshelves, window seat and en-suite bathroom complete this level. The large lower level contains a bright recreation room with fireplace, 1/2 bath, separate large gym/room with en-suite full bath, laundry area and plenty of storage space. Don't miss the third level versatile storage space. Conveniently located on a tranquil street in the heart of Scarsdale, offering a bus to all schools and a 32-minute express train to New York City.
Learn more here.
Listing Price: $2,600,000
12 Vernon Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Stunning renovated five bedroom Colonial on level, manicured .48 acre on prestigious Quaker Ridge street. The generous foyer opens to a chef's kitchen with granite countertops with center island, two Sub-Zero Refrigerators with drawers, new six-burner Thermador range, two Bosch dishwashers, large breakfast area with door to stone patio for ideal grilling and entertainment. The pantry and mudroom boast lots of storage and full freezer. The living room with fireplace has door to screened porch and opens to an amazing family room windowed on three sides, the dining room has custom cabinetry. Upstairs is a large master bedroom, dressing room and spa bath, three bedrooms, new hall bathroom, bedroom and new bath. Among the many not to be missed improvements are: a state of art boiler, generator, updated kitchen, new master bath, legal finished basement, specimen perennial gardens, heated koi pond, Tesla charging station, exterior painting in 2021, whole house water filter, new windows, and much more! 535 square feet in lower level included.
Learn more here.
Listing Price: $2,150,000
State Supreme Court Overrules Village's Decision to Preserve 11 Dolma Road
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Category: Real Estate
Judge Susan Cacace of the Westchester County Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the homeowners in their appeal to demolish an iconic home at 11 Dolma Road in Scarsdale.
The case was brought by Onedol Rock Holding, on behalf of homeowners Sarah and Steven Binetter, who were represented by Andrew Schriever and Kempshall C. McAndrew from Cuddy and Feder LLP of White Plains.
They were appealing decisions by the Scarsdale Committee for Historic Preservation and the Scarsdale Board of Trustees who both found the house to meet the Village’s criteria for preservation and denied a Certificate of Appropriateness to raze it.
The Village’s determination was based on its conclusions that:
-The home was significant in “American history, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture present in the building as well as the integrity of the location, design, setting, materials and workmanship.”
-Architect Julius Gregory was a master.
-The home embodies the distinctive characteristic of a type, period or method of construction that possess high artistic value.
Perhaps unable to disprove any of the above, the court’s decision in favor of the homeowners pivots on statements from their hired expert from Philadelphia, Dr. Emily Cooperman, who claimed that due to renovations to the home that occurred over its almost 100 year history, “it can no longer be viewed as an excellent example of an English Norman style house.” The court decision says that these “dramatic alterations undermine the Board of Trustees further reliance upon the location and setting of the main house amongst the other houses in the 1920’s on Dolma Road” and they conclude that the main house can no longer be considered a historic building. And furthermore, since it underwent “major alterations,” it could no longer be considered the work of a master.
There was ample evidence in a report written by Adam Lindenbaum, Chair of the Committee for Historic Preservation to support the Village’s decision and refute Cooperman’s conclusions.
Lindenbaum opines on hired expert Cooperman’s claim, saying that she sought to “exaggerate the extent and effect of these renovations.” This was backed up by CHP member and architect Mark Behr who found the renovations “sympathetic” to the original design” and Professor Andrew Dolkart, who headed up a survey of Scarsdale’s historic properties in 2012. Dolkart noted that the renovations were “minor” and “sensitive.” In fact the 1941 renovation was done by noted architect Simon Zelnick and specified that “all new work to match present in every respect.”
The CHP report from the September 29, 2021 meeting also provides ample evidence that architect Julius Gregory was a master noting his “diverse practice in terms of style, scale and price point,” which “lends credence to his work. Dolkart notes that Gregory did not simply copy historic architecture but adapted traditional designs to contemporary life and materials available. The committee’s conclusion was further supported by a lengthy paper outlining Gregory’s work, publications, and contributions to American history written by his niece and current resident Ann Marie Cefola.
If ever the Village had a conclusive case to preserve a historic property, 11 Dolma was it. The home clearly met multiple criteria for preservation in the Village code, had been sensitively preserved over time and is emblematic of a time in Scarsdale’s history.
At the hearing of the Scarsdale Board of Trustees on February 4, 2021, Attorney James Staudt who represented the Village said, “If ever credit should be given to the CHP it is in this case. There are 600 pages of documentation. The record demonstrates that both sides were afforded opportunities to supply evidence…. The decision provides clear articulate reasons and thoughtful discussion of how Julius Gregory advanced architecture into the modern age…. it is difficult to fathom a more thorough process.”
When the Binetter’s purchased the home in November 2019, it was listed in a 2012 Reconnaissance Level Cultural Resource Survey of the Village which discussed both the house and Dolma Road. If the Binetter’s were aware of the historical significance of the property, it is puzzling why they would proceed with the purchase and the assumption that they could knock it down.
The report says, “Dolma Road, running from Murray Hill Road to Birchall Road, is a short street lined with exclusive houses on large lots, most erected between 1926 and 1929 (one dates from 1935), primarily for wealthy businessmen and their families (Figure 7-10-1). Dolma Road was largely a project of Walter J. Collet, the Scarsdale builder who was responsible for the construction of many substantial houses in the village. Collet claimed that he chose the name Dolma in reference to a mountain range in Bengal, India; just why he made this choice remains a mystery.”
About the house and architect Julius Gregory it says, “The talented architect Julius Gregory, whose work can be seen in other areas of Scarsdale (including his own house), designed a huge French farmhouse at No. 11, one of the finest houses of the type in Scarsdale (Figure 7-10-11). The L-shaped brick house has a polygonal corner tower and an entrance set beneath a shed hood, a sophisticated rendition of vernacular rural French design.”
The report says Gregory was a “specialist in suburban homes, and among the most talented architects in the United States, designing this type of house for the upper middle class.”
Since the Binetter’s purchased the historic home and an adjoining property for $7.8 million in November 2019 it has stood empty. They have waged a two year war to demolish it, filing an application to the Committee for Historic Preservation to raze it in June 2020 and appealing that decision to the Scarsdale Board of Trustees and next to the Supreme Court of the State of NY for the County of Westchester.
They appear intent on destroying yet another piece of Scarsdale’s history – a win for this young family and a loss for those who treasure this Village.
What do the experts think and will the Village appeal the decision? We asked We asked Village Manager Rob Cole for a comment and he said, "The Village is reviewing the decision and consulting with legal counsel to formulate our response.”
5 Heathcote Road: One of the founding estates in the Heathcote Association, this gracious turn of the century Colonial is known for its stunning copper roof and great location. The sweeping 2.29 acres, in-ground pool & chauffeur’s cottage are added bonuses. This classic Scarsdale home sits under a mile to the charming Village of Scarsdale & Metro North & barely a half mile to Scarsdale High School. Ready for its next owner's love, original period details include 5 fireplaces with Delft tile surrounds, 10’ ceilings with exposed wood beams, and gorgeous stained-glass and architectural windows with built-in window seats. Grand rooms, covered porches and pool-side patio for relaxing or entertaining. This home has hosted literary giants and even a US President! Come see one of the reasons Scarsdale is know for its beautiful homes and park-like neighborhoods.
Sale Price: $2,700,000
Real Estate Taxes: $75,653
Assessed Value: $3,022,525
8 Barker Lane:This 5 bedroom sundrenched contemporary is located at the end of a tranquil cul-de-sac in the Quaker Ridge Estate Area. The interior boasts a large entry foyer, dramatic soaring ceilings with skylights, two-story-double sided stone fireplace in the living room and family room, a renovated Kitchen and a Primary Bedroom with his and hers baths, walk-in closets, and views overlooking the scenic landscape. The 35’ Deck is accessible from all the main rooms and overlooks the beautifully landscaped level property bordering the 15 acre Winston Estate.
Sale Price: $2,550,000
Real Estate Taxes: $44,272
Assessed Value: $1,750,000
17 Heathcote Road, Scarsdale
Majestic Murray Hill Estate set on 4.12 private acres of manicured park-like grounds including a tennis court and 50 x 20 foot pool with spa and cabana, this grand Georgian Colonial offers an exclusive, gated, family compound with plenty of room for everyday living for multiple generations. In addition to formal entertaining rooms, this home boasts several home office spaces, an open concept chef’s kitchen/great room featuring marble counters, premium appliances, dining area and large family room opening to a covered patio, outdoor kitchen and gas firepit. The second level features a luxurious primary bedroom suite with sitting room along with four bedrooms with en-suite baths, a family room and two balconies. The third level includes a bedroom, bath and rec room. The lower level contains a playroom, bedroom, two baths, steam shower, sauna and gym. Four car garage. A rare opportunity own a distinctive Scarsdale estate. Learn more here:
List Price: $8,800,000
101 High Point Road, Scarsdale PO/Edgemont
Spectacular NEW HOME TO BE BUILT on nearly one half acre in the Edgemont School District. Wonderful layout for carefree entertaining and easy everyday living. Dream kitchen outfitted with premium stainless appliances (Wolf and Subzero), center island, gorgeous countertops, custom cabinets and breakfast area. Adjacent family room "great room" with fireplace is the heart of the home. Hardwood floors, custom millwork, central vacuum, convenient second floor laundry, and huge lower level recreation room. Highlights are first floor home-office, huge second floor bonus room, heated three-car attached garage to mud room with cubbies, and more. Primary bedroom suite with two WIC, and lux bath/double-sink vanity, separate walk-in shower and deep soaking tub. Sliding glass doors to the deck seamlessly integrate the indoor and outdoor living spaces. Refined craftsmanship by esteemed Edgemont builder. Close to Greenburgh pools and recreation. ACT NOW to CUSTOMIZE and make choices that suit your individual lifestyle! Learn more here:
List Price $2,595,000
Steady Sales in February
- Written by Sophia Albert
- Category: Real Estate
It's not yet March, and home sales continue to be robust in Scarsdale. With inventory low, buyers are scooping up available homes. See what sold this week:
8 Fairway Drive
Exceptional sun-drenched colonial in quiet neighborhood in Scarsdale School District, perfect for everyday living and entertaining friends and family. This 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath, 5,300+ square foot home has a Gunite pool and is set on a gorgeous, park-like property that extends through to the next street, offering tons of privacy. Highlights include: bright and spacious 1st floor office; 1,000+ square foot chef’s eat-in kitchen and family room entertaining space with 10 foot ceilings with speakers, built-ins and 3 sets of French doors that open to expansive multi-tier mahogany deck overlooking pool and yard; large master bedroom w/ walk-in closet and en-suite; 2nd floor playroom/hangout space; expansive lower level with gym, mudroom, rec room, bedroom, and 2 full bathrooms (one designed as pool cabana); circular driveway and 8 heating zones (7 radiant).
Sale Price: $2,685,000
Assessed Value: $2,239,000
Real Estate Taxes: $59,593
96 Garden Road
Move right in to this newer construction classic colonial home, located in a highly desirable area of Scarsdale. The 6,000 square foot home has three floors, five bedrooms, and six bathrooms, plus an attached two-car garage. The jewel of this home is the open concept gourmet kitchen that spans the entire back of the home and is fitted with top-of-the-line appliances, large island, gas fireplace, dining nook and custom cabinets. Enjoy your morning coffee or dine alfresco outside on the oversized deck that overlooks a large, level, private back garden. The formal living room with wood burning fireplace and formal dining room with custom paneling make a perfect pair for entertaining. An office/den with gas fireplace is located at the front of the home for privacy. The primary bedroom suite with two walk in closets, gas fireplace and spa bathroom is the perfect place for relaxing and rejuvenation. Two sizable bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, a laundry center and two additional bedrooms complete the second floor layout. The lower level has access to the garden and features a large family room, exercise room, full bathroom, mudroom, storage and a two car garage. This home offers an incredible combination of convenience and tranquility. It's just a 38-minute train to Grand Central Station.
Sale Price: $2,600,000
Assessed Value: $1,650,000
Real Estate Taxes: $49,500
1 Cushman Road
Perfectly situated on an incredible manicured private lot located in the Heathcote estate section, this stunning storybook Center Hall Colonial meets today's modern living with classic, chic and sophisticated style. As you enter this magnificent home you will find five-bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths that allows for over 4,300 square feet of gracious living. Natural oak floors run throughout, a modern gourmet chef's kitchen with a six-burner commercial Wolf range, SubZero, Marvel wine refrigerator and granite counters make this a dream to entertain in. The first-floor features two wood burning fireplaces, a home office/family room, dining room, living room, spacious center hall, and parlor that is a fabulous entertainment space that mimics a boutique hotel! The grand staircase leads you to the second floor living spaces where luxury abounds. The primary bedroom has a wood burning fireplace and stunning en-suite bath with a glass enclosed walk-in steam shower and soaking tub. Two additional bedrooms are perfectly appointed with a Jack and Jill bath. The third floor houses two additional bedrooms, a full bath, huge loft style living room perfect for out-of-town guests or a secluded home office. The finished basement complete with laundry room and full bath is currently a home gym but could be used as a rec room/playroom. For the wine enthusiast, there is a wine cellar that can house over 300 bottles! The front porch is the perfect place to unwind, listen to your favorite music and enjoy a glass of wine at the end of a long day. Close to village, train, shops and schools.
Sale Price: $2,500,000
Assessed Value: $1,750,000
Real Estate Taxes: $44,139
11 Overlook Road
Stunning red-brick Colonial home on a beautiful, private half-acre on one of the most desirable streets in the Fox Meadow neighborhood of Scarsdale. This home has been maintained by the current owners for more than 50 years and comes to market in excellent condition for new owners to make it their own. The first level features almost 9' ceilings, an entry foyer, large living room with fireplace and access to a lovely screened porch, perfect for outdoor dining, formal living room, paneled study with fireplace and bay window, eat-in kitchen, powder room and two maid's rooms/offices with a full bath. The second level includes a sunny primary bedroom with three exposures, two large closets and a full bath en-suite with tub and shower, one spacious bedroom with an en-suite bath and two additional large bedrooms with a hall bath. The lower level contained a large recreation room with a fireplace that was divided into two smaller rooms, laundry, utilities and attached two car garage. The yard is expansive, private and beautiful.
Sale Price: $1,868,888
Assessed Value: $1,574,500
Real Estate Taxes: $37,324
111 Evandale Road
Recently renovated, this chic Split Level home at the end of a very tranquil street features over half an acre of level, extensively landscaped property. Stunning open layout and large windows bring the outdoors in! The first level boasts a fantastic, expansive and sun-filled open-plan kitchen, dining, living room with a premium kitchen, ample space to enjoy everyday family living and gracious entertaining. The family room features a wall of modern, built-in storage, a large seating area and sliding doors leading to the patio and private yard. The second level includes three spacious family bedrooms with one en-suite full bath and one hall full bath, both renovated, and a laundry room, linen closet and utility closet. Up a short flight to a private primary bedroom with a luxurious en-suite bath with oversized shower and double vanity plus two walk-in closets. The lower level contains a bright playroom with sliders to an additional patio, powder room, mudroom and access to the two car garage. There is a clean sub-basement with a large storage room and utilities. The yard was recently planted with a significant number of new trees, large shrubs and perennial gardens and affords great privacy at the end of this street. This home also benefits from membership at the Scarsdale Farm Road private pool next door for an annual fee. Easy walking distance to the Greenville elementary school and the bus line to the Scarsdale Metro North train station.
Sale Price: $1,555,000
Assessed Value: $1,190,500
Real Estate Taxes: $41,504
50 Greendale Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Stately brick Colonial in the Grange area of Greenacres. This sun-entrenched, architecturally significant Colonial has been meticulously restored and renovated with the finest craftsmanship and mill work to combine traditional charm with a clean, contemporary aesthetic. Situated on .87 of perfectly manicured, private, level property. This home provides every amenity for intimate family living with fabulous entertaining flow. Entirely renovated down to the studs in 2006, the exterior is finely crafted with a 100 year blue slate roof, the façade is constructed of hand cut brick masonry made of Alabama hand crafted brick, blue slate patio, Copper leaders and gutters, natural oak car port and fabulous tree house! Expansive view of the George Field park and walking distance to the newly renovated Greenacres Elementary School. The interior boasts 9' ceilings on the first and second floor, 5" wide, 8' long wide plank floors throughout, six bedrooms, five-and-a-half bathrooms (all waterworks fixtures). Handsome study with mahogany built-ins, gourmet kitchen with maple cabinetry, fabulous walk-in pantry, warm family room with built-ins and stone fireplace, French doors to blue stone patio, Oversized formal dining room, butlers pantry, mud room with copper sink, first floor guest suite (the original primary bedroom), en-suite bedroom, wood hand milled mahogany and cherry doors throughout.
Learn more here.
Sale Price: $4,500,000
31 Old Army Road
Scarsdale PO/Edgemont, NY
Sophisticated and stylish Edgemont school district Cotswold Tudor renovated with gorgeous high end modern finishes. Private and conveniently located on a beautiful half acre property with stone and brick patios, specimen plantings and lush mature landscaping. You will love the renovated cook's kitchen with custom white cabinetry, marble counters, upscale Thermador appliances and a cool Ferrari red lacquered oversized door from Italy. The exquisite living room with large stone fireplace and high ceiling is perfect for relaxing and entertaining, while the multiple home offices provide a great place to work from home. Other highlights include the temperature controlled wine cellar, elegant primary suite with cathedral ceiling and luxurious spa bath, spacious butlers pantry with marble counters and coffee bar with wine fridge, grand foyer with special floor, fantastic recreation room/gym, upgraded baths, five bedrooms, two car garage and walk-up floored attic. Sauna not included. Come see this special home!
Learn more here.
Sale Price: $1,995,000
CHP Clears the Way for Subdivision of a Historic Property on Mamaroneck Road
- Written by Sophia Albert
- Category: Real Estate
It seems that rules are made to be broken in Scarsdale. When it comes to land use, there’s no decision made by a Village Committee that can’t be amended, changed or reversed.
That’s exactly what we saw at the meeting of the Committee for Historic Preservation on Tuesday February 15, when they cleared the way for a clever developer to subdivide a property that the Committee had previously found to be historic and worthy of preservation. In addition to giving him permission to demolish the caretaker’s cottage and garage they also said it was okay to lop off a portion of the house that stood too close to the new property line to facilitate his proposed subdivision.
In April 2021, the Committee denied an application to demolish a 7,000 square foot 1916 Colonial Revival home, accessory buildings and pool at 40 Mamaroneck Road. The committee considered both the house and its site at the end of a long driveway on a 2.83 acre lot on a prominent street. Furthermore, the grounds include fruit trees and a rare 150 year old Chestnut tree.
The committee voted in favor of preserving it, finding it a, “strong example of a large home on a large property for wealthy merchants leaving the city for suburban life,” and said, “this is a home that contributes to the broad patterns of history.”
However, just a few months later, developer Shlomo Freidfertig filed an application to take down the accessory buildings and the small addition to the house to clear the way for a subdivision of the property that had been found to be historic and was to be. preserved intact. He simultaneously filed an application with the Planning Board to subdivide the property but noted on his application that there would be “no new house” on the new property.
But during the January 18, 2022 when he presented his plan he announced, surprise, surprise, his intention to build a second house on the subdivided property but did not show a plan of where it would be sited, and how it would affect the overall setting.
He returned to the CHP meeting February 15 with a blurry site plan showing what appears to be a massive house on what is now the front lawn of 40 Mamaroneck Road, coupled with an offer to waive his appeal to tear down the main house.
It was not clear why an application to demolish portions of a historic property had been put on the agenda in the first place. Why did the building department allow Freidfertig to apply to destroy what had been deemed worthy of preservation by the committee and the Village’s architectural expert, Andrew Dolkart? Do they ever say no? And if not, why not?
At the opening of the meeting on February 15, it appeared that the Committee for Historic Preservation was prepared to accept this horse trade or compromise to save the main house in exchange for allowing the destruction of the accessory buildings, the setting and even an addition to the house so that the developer could subdivide the property.
The Committee justified their decision by saying that since the accessory buildings were not historic and other large lots on Mamaroneck Road had been subdivided, they should permit the developer to move forward with the subdivision.
What was most puzzling is why they felt they needed to make a compromise on one of the few properties they had previously voted to preserve.
They had additional ammunition to consider as well.
The neighbor at 20 Mamaroneck Road Carol Wolchock shared the fact that her parents had purchased the lot that lies between 20 and 40 Mamaroneck Road so that it would not be developed. In a letter she wrote, “20 Mamaroneck Road and 40 Mamaroneck Road have been neighbors for over 100 years, and for almost sixty of those years the Wolchok and Rosenthal families have been neighbors. In fact, shortly after my parents purchased 20 Mamaroneck Road, my father approached the Rosenthals (the current owners of 40 Mamaroneck Road) about buying together the plot between their properties. That plot, identified as Plot 26 in Attachment A, was 1.133 acres and had been part of the impressive 20 Mamaroneck Rd estate but was not included in the parcel with the house purchased by parents in 1963.”
“The Wolchoks and the Rosenthals bought and divided Plot 26 soon thereafter: the Rosenthals acquired the eastern portion (outlined in bold in Attachment B) and the Wolchoks acquired the western portion. The intention was that the two families enjoy larger properties and that no new owner would purchase the land between the two homes to construct a third house. We believe this is what Mr. Freidfertig and Mr. Rosenthal intend to do.”
At the February meeting Wolchok said to the CHP, “You made a decision that the whole property had value and it surprises me that you’re reversing your decision. I see that you think this is a compromise. I don’t see anything that supports this reversal of your earlier decision.”
She continued, “Since the 2012 Cultural Resources survey came out, this property is now a decade older. There has been movement in historic preservation. There are untold stories and we are erasing those. There is a whole change in philosophy. What is outstanding about this property is that these buildings represent a period in the history of Scarsdale. It’s a shame to rip this down and put in another new building. There are still many historic homes on Mamaroneck Road. To me, putting up a massive new house among these stately properties surprises me. It saddens me that you would not find this worthy of preservation. If it is not, what is?”
About the developer she said, “Shlomo (Freidfertig) is charming and I think it would be a shame for you to do this.” (see her letter below.)
The Committee ultimately voted to approve the developer’s application to raze the shed and accessory buildings with a stipulation that the main house be preserved. Will that stipulation hold if Freidfertig sees an opportunity to raze the historic house and put a Mac Mansion in it’s place?
The decision demonstrates yet again that Scarsdale has little backbone when it comes to preservation and invites developers to continue their feeding frenzy on historic homes and landscapes.
The subdivision application will be considered by the Planning Board on February 23, 2022.
Here is the letter that neighbor Carol Leslie Wolchok of 20 Mamaroneck Road sent to the CHP on February 15, 2022
Dear Committee for Historic Preservation Members:
I am writing to reassert our family’s objections to the demolition of accessory structures at 40 Mamaroneck Rd. In addition to the comment submitted on January 18, 2022, I request your consideration of the following:
1.This Committee decided in April 2021 that this property is “associated with events that have made a significant contribution to broad patterns of Village, regional, state or national history” and “is an excellent example of a house from the peak years of Scarsdale’s suburbanization.” No evidence or information has been presented by the applicant to warrant a reconsideration or reversal of that decision.
2. This application presents an important opportunity for the CHP and Village to recognize the reliance on and vital role of domestic workers in Scarsdale households during the second and third decades of the twentieth century. In 1916, when the house and cottage were constructed, Scarsdale had barely 3000 residents. A decade later, one in five Scarsdale residents was a domestic servant. See Carol A. O’Connor, A Sort of Utopia: Scarsdale, 1891-1981 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983). These workers, primarily women, a substantial portion of whom were immigrant and African American, performed essential services but are largely forgotten.
The concept of historic preservation has evolved from protecting just the homes of important figures and landmark buildings to being more inclusive: telling a fuller story and the stories of underrepresented communities and people. In 1925, 501 Scarsdale households reported having 910 servants. I imagine that few original caretaker residences from this period survive today. This Committee should acknowledge these workers’ contributions and not allow evidence of their existence to be erased.
3. In addition to their historical importance, auxiliary dwelling units are “the rage” in communities across the United States today. The cottage at 40 Mamaroneck Road continues to be habitable and inhabited. Rather than being viewed as an undesirable feature, a historic home with an accessory dwelling in a park-like setting should be highly attractive to many families.
4. That particular stretch of Mamaroneck Road has layers of history. Mamaroneck Road was a major thoroughfare before and during the Revolutionary War. Opposite the site where Mr. Freidfertig proposes to build a new large house is the 1733 house that British General Howe used as his headquarters in 1776. When I gaze across our yard to the Rosenthals’, I often wonder if British troops camped there. And, if they did, what might they have left behind? On the next corner, at 2 Garden Road, is a house built in 1870 when Scarsdale had only a few hundred residents. The Wolchok (1904) and Rosenthal houses were built before 1920. Other nearby homes have similar ages (e.g., 54 Mamaroneck Road built in 1904 and 55 Mamaroneck Rd in 1890). These homes near the intersection of Garden and Mamaroneck Road are tied to significant periods in Scarsdale’s history. Certainly, that section of Mamaroneck Road is not appropriate for the new large construction that the applicant proposes (and that is pending before the Planning Board).
In closing, I want to reiterate that Mr. Freidfertig intends to build a new house on a parcel of land that was largely part of the original 20 Mamaroneck Rd estate (John Hancock’s “Home Port”). The Rosenthals and Wolchoks bought that parcel (“Plot 26”) in February 1965 to avert its sale to a third party for construction of a new house between their homes. For nearly 60 years, the Wolchoks and Rosenthals shared the mutual understanding that a third house should not be built there. The approval of this demolition application would not only pave the way for eventual partition and new construction there, but it would likely compromise the historic value of both properties.
For all of the foregoing reasons, we renew our opposition to the application to tear down the cottage, garage, and “shed” attached to the house as well as to demolish the main house.
Very truly yours,
Carol L Wolchok
Co-Owner of 20 Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale
25 Glenwood Road
Updated 1922 Colonial with four-bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths conveniently located close to all with a wonderful private backyard. The heart of this warm home is the enormous updated eat-in-kitchen (21’ x 14’) with stainless steel appliances, granite counters and beautiful cherry cabinets. The kitchen and adjacent family room addition both overlook the tranquil property. This private, fully fenced yard offers plenty of room for a swing set and wonderful space on the slate patio to grill and dine outside. Upstairs features four large bedrooms with custom closets and two updated baths. The lower level offers a recreation room and full bath in addition to the laundry, utilities and garage. Energy efficient home with three-zone heat. This amazing location is within walking distance of schools, shops, and the 35 minute train to New York City. Safe, outdoor propane grill included.
Sale Price: $1,150,000
Assessed Value: $886,100
Real Estate Taxes: $30,876
370 Central Park Avenue Unit#4F
Breathtaking sunset views from spacious balcony and every window! This two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment is located in the award winning Edgemont school district, and is only a thirty minute commute to Grand Central Terminal by train, and is close to bus, schools and shops. The kitchen features stainless steel appliances and white cabinets. Fabulous closet space throughout. The living room is light and bright with sliders that open to balcony. The master bedroom currently has a temporary half wall to split into rooms for children, but can easily be converted back. Laundry room, gym, and pool are included (gym costs $100.00 a year) and conveniently located on the grounds. One assigned parking spot and huge visitors parking area make it easy to entertain.
Sale Price: $279,500
336 Central Park Avenue Unit#4J
This spacious, renovated unit is a smart home (smart lights, Nest thermostat, and a ring doorbell) and has a flexible floor plan. The dining room can be easily converted into a second bedroom. In addition the floors have been newly sanded and stained. The complex enjoys a heated swimming pool and two revamped playgrounds. There is unlimited guest parking. Security gatehouse at front entrance.
Sale Price: $238,000
7 Meadow Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
An amazing opportunity to own a luxury, 7700 square foot, Center Hall colonial on a stunning 1/2 acre of land, with room to build a pool, in the award-winning Scarsdale School District. Built in 2017, this beautifully constructed home boasts an open layout and oversized rooms, ideal for casual family living and elegant entertaining, featuring 9 ½’ ceilings on the first level and 9’ ceilings on the second and lower levels. The perfect first level features an extra-large open kitchen/family room overlooking the patio and magnificent half acre of property, bright study, sophisticated formal living and dining room, butler's pantry, chic powder room, graciously sized guest suite, walk-in pantry and large mudroom with built-in storage off of the two car attached garage. The second level features a luxurious primary bedroom with two custom outfitted walk-in closets and spa bath, spacious second floor gathering room with built-ins for family hang-out time, one generously sized bedroom with ensuite bath and two spacious bedrooms with a jack-and-jill bathroom. Large lower level with playroom, bedroom and full bath, state-of-the-art gym and tons of storage. Conveniently located within walking distance to Quaker Ridge Elementary School with a free bus to the Middle School and High School, a short 30-minute commute on Metro North to Grand Central. Don't miss this warm and inviting, better than new construction, with high-end finishes throughout, custom window treatments and wall coverings, and spectacular private property with room for pool.
Learn more here.
Listing Price: $3,700,000
12 Wakefield Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Exciting new construction proudly presented by Scarsdale’s premier luxury builder CAD Development. With an intrinsically modern vibe, high ceilings and seamless flow, this 5700 square foot state-of-the-art home will check off every box. Among many signature qualities, this five-bedroom/five full and two half bath residence features: a dream floor plan; 10' ceilings on the first floor and 9' ceiling on the second floor; an expansive family room/breakfast area with sliding glass doors to the deck; a gourmet kitchen/butler's pantry with top-of-the-line appliances; a mudroom/porch; two main floor powder rooms; a first floor study/home office; custom designed baths with high-end finishes; a luxurious primary suite and bath complete with two walk-in closets; and an enormous lower level including a playroom, a family room, a gym/second home office, a bedroom, and full bath. Exterior features include a deck, a porch, and a deep flat yard. This home enjoys a perfect location near shops, transportation, and the Heathcote Elementary School along with playground and playing fields. A short 30 minute drive to New York City!
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Listing Price: $3,250,000
76 Clarendon Road
Scarsdale PO/Edgemont, NY
Sat Feb 19, 2022 1:00PM-3:00PM
Impeccably maintained four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom Edgemont Colonial with a private backyard for outdoor, all-season entertaining and dining. Living room with wood burning fireplace. The open kitchen boasts stainless steel appliances, Bosch dishwasher, Jenn-Air refrigerator, granite counters, an island and a door to an expansive deck. The primary bedroom has a full bath. Lower level family room with radiant heat provides comfort and relaxation; an ideal space for a pool table, ping pong table, Karaoke room, or whatever your heart desires. Conveniently located within a short walking distance from the commuter bus to metro north and express bus to New York City. CAC. Gas heating. Move right in!
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Listing Price: $825,000
Closing a Loophole in Our Historic Preservation Law
- Written by Sophia Albert
- Category: Real Estate
In late October, residents were aghast to find that a developer had razed a significant portion of a historic home on Hampton Road in Scarsdale. The Committee for Historic Preservation had considered whether or not the home warranted preservation during the summer and an opinion from architectural historian Andrew Dolkart confirmed that it met several of the criteria for preservation.
But before the committee had the opportunity to vote, the developer who had purchased the property, filed a simultaneous application with the Board of Architectural Review to demolish what he claimed was 49% of the house. With approval from the BAR, the developer quickly took down half the house, the stone entry and all the stucco and brick on the remaining exterior, leaving a shell of the former home.
After this incident, trustees realized there was a gap in the building code that allowed the builder to “shop” his plans to several land use boards simultaneously, in an effort to get the answer he wanted.
After conferring with the Village Attorney, Dan Pozin, trustees are now considering an amendment to the building code to change the procedure for gaining approval for additions and alterations of homes built prior to January 1, 1940 that “substantially change the exterior character and appearance of the building.” For these properties, the applicant would need to also gain the approval of the Committee for Historic Preservation in addition to the Board of Architectural Review.
The intent of the code change is to close a gap or loophole between Village land use boards that allow applicants to gain approval for altering historic structures without approval of the Committee for Historic Preservation.
Trustees considered this potential code change at a work session on February 1, 2022. Both the Chair of the Board of Architectural Review and the Committee for Historic Preservation were present as well as Frank Diodati from the Scarsdale Building Department.
Discussing the need for this stop gap provision, Trustee Justin Arest said, “Historic preservation is much more complicated – we have been talking about it for years. The problem is that once these assets are gone, they are gone. This should not be overly burdensome to residents. We want to hear from everyone.”
He then raised the question of penalties or fines for those who violate the law. He said, “There is a fine for violating our laws – but some developers look at it as a cost of doing business. That needs to be addressed. I would propose that if a builder violates the code they will be required to build back what they demolished.”
Trustee Randall Whitestone expressed his support for preservation, saying, “A systematic classification of properties would be the best way to go about this.”
Trustee Jonathan Lewis also wanted to do more to preserve historic homes in the Village. He said, “I think we need to move forward though this is a modest way to close unintentional loopholes. We have not discussed the broader question of what tools are available to preserve the historic value, character and beauty of Scarsdale. Preservation is much more than a cutoff date. Contextual zoning, landscaping, the setting … the treescape. I am for this acknowledging that this is limited.”
He asked how many homes in the Village were built before this cutoff date and was told that 49% of homes in Scarsdale Village were built before 1940. Lewis asked Village Planner Greg Cutler to inform the Board about their options for preservation and Cutler recommended that the Village retain an expert who focuses on preservation to inform them.
Village Manager Rob Cole said, “I worked in Oak Park Ill. where there are many Frank Lloyd Wright homes. I will circulate a booklet of guidelines that will clarify terminology. It is complex but there are interim measures we can take to preserve assets that may be at risk.
The trustees then asked the two committee chairs if this proposal was practical. CHP Chair Adam Lindenbaum said, “I have been running the CHP for three years. A penalty and the provision to require the builder to build back what he destroyed would be important.” He said, “We also want to still have the power to evaluate homes that are built after 1940. We have preserved mid-century modern homes. I would argue that we should be able to see any demolition – as the façade can be so important. We need to be able to examine the character – and not just the square footage. Perhaps the BAR should be the lead agency.”
Brad Citron who heads the Board of Architectural Review said, “When an applicant comes to us it is after a subjective decision from the Village. At 41 Hampton – we decided we could live with the proposed renovation. What you need to do is provide the CHP with a way to weigh in for demolitions of less than 50%. This can only make the BAR and CHP workload more substantial. But this is a way for the CHP to weigh in earlier.”
Frank Diodati who heads the Scarsdale Building Department said, “ We have to think about how we submit the applications to the two boards. This could take several months. The BAR meets twice a month and considers 18 applications at each meeting and the agendas are often full. We could create a workload issue for the CHP – who only meets once per month.”
Lindenbaum said, “We vote 7-0 90% of the time. We get our work done quickly – I don’t think this would be an undue burden.”
Trustee Karen Brew said, “For those who demolish without permission, can we implement a process where 2 or 3 strikes and you’re out for multiple abuses.? You lose the right to work in our Village?”
Mayor Jane Veron suggest, “Should we do another draft that includes deterrents?
Jonathan Lewis said, “Let’s move forward with this stop gap measure while we look into larger solutions. Might we consider a moratorium until we can change this law to deter people from acting rashly if they think the law will be changed?”
At the conclusion of the meeting the Mayor asked the attorney to look into adding penalties, requested that the chairs of the BAR and CHP discuss process and following that, asked for the code change be put back on the calendar.
51 Brookby Road
Spectacular Nantucket inspired 6 bedroom, 6 1/2 bath Colonial in Heathcote is set on .80 acres of gorgeous, picturesque property. An impressive Breakfast Woodworks staircase sets the stage for the many beautiful design elements throughout the home. The 1st floor features a grand living room with fireplace, dining room with stained glass built-ins accommodating large gatherings, spacious chef’s eat-in-kitchen opening to a fabulous family room overlooking the magnificent grounds. 1st floor bedroom, full bath, mudroom, laundry and marble powder room complete the 1st floor. The 2nd floor boasts a luxurious primary suite with a tray ceiling and en-suite marble bath, 2 bedrooms with Jack & Jill bath, bedroom, hall bath and a spectacular office with en-suite bath and ipe wood balcony. Walkout sun-filled lower level with playroom, exercise room, bedroom and full bath. Truly a bucolic setting with enchanting gardens and bluestone patio. Close proximity to schools, restaurants and shops.
Sale Price: $3,510,000
Assessed Value: $2,050,000
Real Estate Taxes: $52,025
103 Griffen Avenue
Welcome to this magnificent center hall colonial nestled on a private acre in Scarsdale school district. Built by preeminent KOSL Building Group, a spectacular foyer and sweeping staircase provide a contemporary open layout to all main rooms: an elegant large living room with sliders to office, formal dining room, powder room, and bright family room. A chef's kitchen has a center island and breakfast area with French doors to patio and grill. A convenient 1st floor bedroom with ensuite bath is adjacent to a generous mudroom and laundry. The 2nd floor features a luxurious master bedroom suite w/tray ceiling, dressing area with 2 walk-in closets and marble bath with jacuzzi and shower. Two spacious hall bedrooms offer ensuite baths and 2 hall bedrooms share hall bath. The finished lower level is perfect for entertaining with media, games, exercise area and wet bar with full bath. A level green rear yard is a peaceful oasis with a potential pool site. 5 fireplaces, 3 car garage and permanent generator.
Sale Price: $2,680,000
Assessed Value: $2,830,000
Real Estate Taxes: $69,917
9 Eastwoods Lane
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Super bright renovated Center Hall Colonial with great flow on tranquil sought-after street in Edgewood with level fenced yard. Everything has been renovated and improved with great attention to detail and quality. The house has new: windows, roof, three-and-a-half bathrooms, laundry room, sewer line, stone front path, driveway and more! The gracious entrance foyer opens to a large living/family room with prominent fireplace and French doors to enclosed stone terrace, overlooking the front gardens, and dining room. The chef's kitchen with butcher block center island has a SubZero, six burner/griddle Viking stove, dishwasher, wine cooler, breakfast area and remote controlled skylight and door to large deck with gas line. Outfitted mudroom, powder room, home office and media room complete first level. Upstairs, bright master bedroom with walk-in closet, new spa bath, two bedrooms, new hall bath, bedroom with new bath. Lower level includes a playroom with split system HVAC, laundry room with second refrigerator, storeroom and two car garage. A must see!
Learn more here.
Listing Price: $2,185,000
178 Garth Road Unit TL
Scarsdale PO/Eastchester, NY
Completely renovated two-bedroom, two-bathroom Co-Op with separate home office or potential to be a third bedroom is ready for you to just unpack your bags. This exceptional and spacious first floor unit is ideally located off the front courtyard. This unit with nine foot ceilings has been redesigned to provide an open kitchen layout for today's buyers, with beautiful custom white cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops. The closets have been customized with great space and storage capacity. Located steps from Scarsdale Village and train while living near the beautiful trails and parks, you can have it all to enjoy! The maintenance includes all utilities and this is a non-smoking building. You will not want to miss out on this amazing home!
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Listing Price: $389,000