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 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 Aristocratic Apartment

A European princess visiting New York City would feel perfectly at home in this grand apartment. The lofty home is one half of an Upper East Side townhouse.  The flat has soaring ceilings, intricate ceiling moldings, three marble fireplaces, pocket doors, built-in window shutters, unique antique furniture, gorgeous woodwork, museum quality paintings, and curious objects d’art. A wooden spiral staircase off the parlor leads upstairs to a glittering bedroom with an Italian glass chandelier. A terrace with a spiral staircase off the dining area leads downstairs to a private garden. The townhouse also has a traditional staircase leading to the double door parlor entrance. From the massive ballroom chandeliers to the bejeweled taxidermy peacock (it was a former pet who died of natural causes), the eclectic décor is dripping with quirky glamour. At the end of the block is the lovely Gracie Mansion (the mayor’s residence), the Hudson River and the beautiful Carl Schurz Park. Note: There is also an unused dentist office in the basement of the townhouse that might be available for rent as well.

Square footage: 1,800 (Floor-thru parlour, open kitchen, dining room, one bedrooms, two bathrooms, terrace, private yard, hallway)

Amenities/Details:

  • Furniture, artwork and props as seen in the pictures
  • 3 fireplaces
  • 2 bathrooms

The Old Grand Dame Victorian

A grand old Victorian mansion filled to the brim with velvet, knickknacks and antiques. Ancestor tin-type photographs and painted portraits stare down stoicly from wallpapered walls. Intricate patterns adorn every surface of this lovely old mansion. I picture friendly, teetotaler ghosts innocently haunting by creaking the rocking chair as they sit and embroider.

Square footage: 15,000 square feet (Foyer, ladies parlour, gentlemens’s parlour, library, dining room, kitchen, many bedrooms and bathrooms)

Amenities/Details:

  • Furniture, artwork and props as seen in the pictures
  • Overnights available

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