Louis XIV would have loved this splendide French chateau set on eight magnificent acres in Brookville. Asking price? $15,000,000.
A rare jewel, Haut Bois (or “high wood”) was inspired by the king’s hunting lodge, which was to become the Palace of Versailles. And its exquisite formal gardens — modeled after the spectacular gardens at Versailles — were conceived by prominent Parisian landscape designer, Jacques Gréber.
“The home has an impressive provenance and has made an appearance in numerous books which detail the fabulous, grand estates dotted along the North Shore’s Gold Coast,” notes John Messina of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. “Although grand and formal, the house is still warm and inviting. All the main rooms have French windows and doors which are perfectly situated to face south for the very best light, and they overlook the picturesque gardens.”
Designed by renowned architect Ogden Codman Jr. in 1916, Haut Bois was built for Walter Effingham Maynard, a real estate tycoon.
During the Roaring Twenties, Jay Gatsby may have been one of the elite guests at the numerous parties the residents of Haut Bois were known for hosting. Famed author Edith Wharton spent summers there with her dear friend Ogden Codman, who co-wrote The Decoration of Houses, still studied by design students today.
Countless photo shoots have captured the estate’s splendor. It has been beautifully restored to its former glory by master artisans and decorators who specialize in 17th century French architecture and design, to ensure that the restoration stayed true to the home’s origins.
“The original Rouge Languedoc marble, mined more than 100 years ago from a French quarry, was found in Italy and used to restore the entry foyer and one of the hallways. To guide this extensive renovation, the homeowners used photos and pictures from the archives at the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities and from Wharton’s own Massachusetts home, The Mount, which was also designed by Codman [and Wharton] and is today a national historic landmark,” Messina explains.
Modern-day renovations include new heating, electrical, sound, security, building management, air conditioning, septic, well, and irrigation systems. Also, the roof, elevator, and all the windows and doors were replaced.
“Equipped with a tennis court, pool, pool house, children’s playhouses, a reflecting pond, fountains, a golf green, exercise and billiard rooms, and a theater, the home also offers an outdoor kitchen and built-in fireplace, ideal for al fresco entertaining on cooler nights,” says Messina.
“Activities such as horse riding, fishing, yachting, golf, swimming, skeet shooting and winter sports, such as skating and hockey, are held at neighboring clubs.”
Haut Bois is one of the few great estates still held by private owners. The opulent, 18-room mansion is in diamond condition, boasting seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms, formal living and dining rooms, breakfast and family areas, an eat-in kitchen, a finished basement and attached garage. Special features: six fireplaces, wine cellar, and more.
This residence is an easy 26-mile commute to Manhattan and conveniently located just minutes away from the Long Island Expressway. Nearby, superb dining options abound, as well as designer shopping at Americana Manhasset.
“The current owners are both successful, second-generation civil litigators who grew up in Manhasset and chose to return to the Gold Coast to raise their three children. They remained happy in the home for 20 years and are ready to enjoy the next phase of their lives,” Messina says, noting that previous owners include Irving Stitsky, the notorious partner at Stratton Oakmont, who was depicted in Boiler Room and The Wolf of Wall Street. Patrice Munsel, the youngest singer to ever star at the Metropolitan Opera, also lived there; she would often open the French windows overlooking the gardens and sing to the neighborhood children while they played on the grounds.
“Anyone who enjoys the finer things in life would be happy living at Haut Bois,” says Messina. “With New York City so close by, you have everything here that life has to offer.”
Contact: John Messina, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, GRI, SRES – Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, Cold Spring Harbor Cell: 516-241-0761