The Tudor-style mansion known as Mayknoll that was owned by a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency is on the market with bids now being accepted on the entire compound or a portion.
The private Glenwood Road estate, set on 8.2 acres with views of Hempstead Bay, was built in the 1850s by a steamship captain. The property includes three guest cottages, a statue garden, and pool. Bernadette Casey Smith, the daughter of the late William J. Casey, who served as CIA director during the administration of Ronald Reagan, has fond memories of the home that has been in the family for 70 years.
“It’s a wonderful place to grow up,” says Smith. “I was an only child, but I never felt like I was an only child because I had all these people around.”
The manor, which was initially a Victorian, had five different owners before the Caseys acquired it. In 1919, the current occupants redesigned it and turned the home into a Renaissance-esque Tudor-style design. Some of the original features are the etched glass pocket doors and tile flooring located in the main foyer.
“The story was that the steamship captain hand selected the tile when he was in Italy,” says Smith. “He told his wife he was sending her the floor. There’s also a secret passage that would make a great wine cellar.”
Treasures from overseas and personal mementos fill the house. In the foyer hangs an Asian wall panel from Japan, a Cuzco school oil painting of the Madonna purchased in Peru, and a sculpture of Alexander the Great conquering the world. In the living room are two paintings by John Sloan, an influential turn-of-the-century realist.
“It is a very formal house and a house that is great for entertaining,” says Smith. “We used to have parties at Christmas with 250 people, and it never felt crowded.”
In the adjacent room is the Casey Cold War library, once an enclosed porch, which holds a vast collection of books on espionage, photos, and maps. The area was also used by the CIA security team.
“That was Dad’s desk from the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] and that was his cabinet chair,” she recalls.
In the formal dining area hangs a chandelier, ornate in design and massive in size.
“Mom and a friend went to an auction at Columbia Theater and purchased the smallest chandelier,” she recalls. “It took five people to get it up.”
The family updated the home in 2000 with modern amenities that include central air conditioning, plumbing and electricity. Additional standout features are a solarium, a spa with an endless swim pool and an elevator.
“It’s been lovingly kept up,” says Smith while walking the grounds.
Pointing to a mighty tree in the distance, she says, “We even have an eagle that stays on the property. You can see the nest from my office.”
During the private tour, James Connelly, director of government relations and the principal for Washington D.C.- based Summit Commercial Real Estate, and representative of the sale of the estate as administered by Hollywood Real Estate Services LLC and Helmsley Spear LLC, explains that the residence can be subdivided and developed with proper approvals.
“The home is one of the larger waterfront assemblages in the county,” he says. “The asking price has not been set, and the property will be sold in a sealed bid format on the full compound or portions of the property.
“It may not be a family,” he continues. “It could be a sovereign nation, or it could be a foundation.”
For more information text James Connelly, Summit Commercial Real Estate, LLC; 202-491-5300 or [email protected] Tours are by appointment only.