The Painted Lady Victorian

This stately Victorian used to be the home of a brick baron. Oddly enough, he built his own home with wood and not brick. The exterior of this grand mansion has been meticulously painted in a variety of historic colors. The lookout tower has 360 degree views of Staten Island and Raritan Bay. There are elegant wallpapers, formal curtains, grand fireplaces, and sumptuous embossed leather walls in the entrance hall. The large property has plenty of parking and a small pond.

Square footage: 6,000 (Bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, kitchen, bathrooms, basement)

Amenities/Details:

  • Furniture, artwork and props as seen in the pictures
  • Pond
  • Wrap around porch
  • Parking

The Manhattan Townhouse

This brick Federal-style townhouse opens up to a swirling ornate staircase that appears infinite. The townhouse features creamy paneled walls, fireplaces in almost every room, pocket doors, ornate columns, and a working antique elevator with a metal gate. All of the soaring windows have delightful built-in antique shutters. There are two large, modern, chef-style kitchens and one galley kitchen. At the top of this six-story manse there is a uber-modern penthouse apartment with a patio, balcony, and a roof deck planted with grass, trees and flowers. The view from the roof is out of this world.

Square footage: 12,000 (Bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, three chef-style kitchens, bathrooms, study, roof deck, finished basement, small back deck, penthouse patio)

Amenities/Details:

  • Furniture, artwork and props as seen in the pictures
  • Small elevator
  • Skylights

The Balcony Building

This imposing Greek Revival building looks like a bank, city office, courthouse, or college building. Currently, it houses a dusty, dark museum. The decorative paintings on the balcony walls are nautical in content. The first floor is a stately museum with large gallery rooms filled with historical portraits, vases, and ephemera. The second floor has many decrepit rooms with peeling paint and water damage. There are separate rooms filled to the brim with Christmas decorations, art, knick-knacks, clothing, old filing cabinets, old wooden chairs, and a shower stall.

Square footage: 5,000 interior, 83 acres

Amenities/Details:

  • Some of the props and furniture in the pictures may be available for use, the art may require special clearances and restrictions
  • Parking on the grounds for trailers and cars

The Arabesque Victorian

Geometric patterns mimicking nature appear everywhere in this gorgeous Victorian manse. In the archways, the pediments, tower, woodwork, and especially in the magnificent stained glass. Islamic features are present throughout its design but there is also a Germanic influence in the stained glass. Sitting high upon a hill, the house has splendid water views from many windows. The attic features a creepy, coffin-shaped tunnel to the tower.

Square footage: 4,500 interior, 1/3 acre (24 rooms with 6 bedrooms, 4 1/2 bathrooms, 6 fireplaces, 24 stained glass windows)

Amenities/Details:

  • Furniture, artwork and props as seen in the pictures
  • Parking on the property and street for trailers and cars
  • A pretty yard with intricate stone paths, a pond, and a stone well
  • An antique garage

The Great Gatsby Mansion

I drove by this stucco and terra cotta mansion one day in 2006. It was for sale, so I drove my car through its circular drive and parked. As I sat in my car I was reminded of the house in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary masterpiece. I imagined I was a guest arriving for a grand party in a 1928 Rolls Royce Ascot Tourer. I nicknamed the house The Great Gatsby after that. Since then I have spent some time in the home. It boasts a ballroom sized parlor, shiny parquet floors, pocket doors, grand fireplaces, beamed ceilings, a handsome dark wood staircase, and jawdropping views of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and the New York City harbor.

Square footage: 15,000

Amenities/Details:

  • Furniture, artwork and props as seen in the pictures
  • Water views

The Hudson River Mansion

While attending a pig roast at The Hudson River Mansion, I snooped around and was mesmerized by its dusty grandeur. Some of the rooms are pristine, such as the paneled octagonal library filled with old books and manuscripts. Others are worse for the wear from water damage or halted repairs, yet they retain a faded beauty. Tapestries, old paintings, heavily carved furniture, and intricate antique wallpapers abound in this stunning abode. The breathtaking grounds are immense and feature rolling hills, fields, forests, streams, rustic trails, long country roads, a riverfront beach, a tiny island, railroad tracks, and sunsets that defined the Hudson River School of painting.

Square footage: 22,000 interior, 450 acres (Main house: Great hall, library, 3 parlors, dining room, 2 kitchens, music room, bedrooms, tower room; Outbuildings: barn, stable, 2 guest houses, sheds, windmill and much more)

Amenities/Details:

  • Furniture, artwork and props as seen in the pictures
  • Wireless access
  • Parking on the property and street for trailers and cars
  • Immense grounds and outbuildings
  • Farm equipment and heavy machinery are available to use for an additional fee
  • Airport nearby