The price is right. The view is even better. And if you want a fascinating history to regale your guests with as you pour them drinks and gaze out at a most spectacular view of the Long Island Sound, here’s a house that’s on the market just aching for a new owner.
For starters, the estate—which was custom-designed in the 1890s by the renowned architect Stanford White—has eight bedrooms, nine-and-a-half baths, and sits on 2.82 acres on Premium Point in New Rochelle. No it’s not Scarsdale or even Larchmont, but there really is no place else in Westchester with a shoreline so long and views so magnificent as in New Rochelle.
Presently it’s owned by an African chief, Antonio Deinde Fernandez, former ambassador for the Central African Union to the United Nations, who lives in a palace in Nigeria, according to Manhattan attorney Robert D. Arenstein. A friend of Nelson Mandela, Fernandez is a Nigerian-born billionaire who has been known to be chauffeured around in a pink Rolls Royce and to take over entire restaurants for the night to avoid encountering riff-raff.
So, if you want the house, the nearly three acres that goes with it, and wondrous stories of its former owner, it’s yours for $12 million, says Betty McMillan, the listing agent for Coldwell Banker. That’s down from $18 million, in keeping with the current market. It was renovated from top to bottom in 1995, and is in good condition with all new windows and doors, McMillan says. And the house, which has a New Rochelle address but is in the Mamaroneck school district, has all these wonderful little touches like the former ambassador’s initials carved on bronze door hinges and jaguar-style carved animals on the window locks. All that and a front door of oak that weighs 600 pounds.
The palatial brick home was built in the late 1800s for railroad magnate Charles Oliver Iselin, and the grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted of Central Park fame. And if I had the money, I wouldn’t hesitate. I’d just park my kayak outside on the dock, invite all my buddies for dinner, and wonder at the splendor of it all.
White wine or red?