• 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
• 131 acres
• Year built: 1989
• Square footage: 3,648 above grade, approx. 1500 below
• Siding: Pine
• Drilled well
• Heat: Oli-fired forced hot air
• New roof 2007
• County: Sullivan
• Township: Neversink
• School District: Tri-Valley
• SBL: 3.-1-4
• Taxes: School - $10,507; Town/Co. - $7,834
• Listing Price: $724,000
The Catskills isn’t the first place you expect to find classical architecture, but this elegant example is tucked into just the right spot on the south-facing side of Wildcat Mountain. Built by author Louis Auchincloss and his wife Adele, who was really the driving force behind the project, they enlisted New York architect Peter Pennoyer to design the home using early 20th century Swedish farmhouses for their inspiration. The property — which is larger than many public parks and boasts endless hiking trails — was subsequently featured in Architectural Digest. It has been updated this year with a new eat-in kitchen ready for memorable dinner parties.
The goal was to create a primary living space on one floor, and also have space where Adele could paint, Louis could write, including a sizable potting room for the avid gardener down below, and provide a grand view from nearly every room. So with dramatic flair, one moves from the entrance foyer and is presented with a round sitting room cum office, punctuated with built-in bookshelves and a beckoning French door. A circular overhead opening provides a glimpse to the second floor library, and enjoys substantial natural light from the cupola above that. This graceful room would also make a lovely dining room, especially as it has a door that connects directly with the kitchen.
Running virtually the width of the house, a corridor studded with pilasters leads to the master suite to the left, and kitchen (new in 2015), dining/living room down to theright. The master, which comprises the eastern portion of the ground floor, guarantees the great view and plenty of light with three sets of French doors, which warm up the southern white pine beaded board paneling that is ubiquitous throughout the house.
Toward the other side of the house, the spacious eat-in kitchen, with its two French doors, has a more traditional feel, with a handy pass-through that connects with the living / dining room next door. That space’s barrel vaulted ceiling, paneling, fireplace and bank of French doors leading to the large deck all create a wonderfully welcoming, character-filled space.
The upstairs is comprised of three bedrooms: A modest-sized guest room; cathedral-ceilinged larger bedroom with nearby guest bath featuring double sinks and a tub / shower; and another en suite bedroom that mirrors the downstairs master. At its center, the second floor boasts a truly elegant paneled library with rotunda, as befitted an author with over sixty titles to his credit, with built-in, lit carrels. Across the hall is the dramatic glassed-in “Studio”, which Adele prized as a wonderful place to paint, but which also makes a delightful sunroom or special guestroom. With its neo-classical Doric columns on the exterior, the temple-like Studio opens onto a lovely level lawn, which could easily serve as a grand spot for a swimming pool.
The lower level adds approximately another 1,500 square feet, and opens out to the sprawling clearing in front of the house, and a fenced-in raised bed garden. In addition to housing the home’s systems, there is ample space on this lower level for adding a home theater, recreation room or exercise space. Adele loved to garden and this was her domain, where she nurtured seeds with racks under grow lights and stored all her potting gear.
The land, which numbers 131 acres is largely forested, with miles of trails and old logging roads covering a wide swathe of Wildcat Mountain. One of the boundaries includes a stretch of about a half mile of frontage on the east branch of the Neversink River, where the rocky headwaters are home to spritely native brook trout. 125 of the acres are under conservation.