Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daytripping: Mansions Along the Hudson, Nyack, N.Y.

Now this is the life. A sprawling mansion along the Hudson River in the swanky enclave of Nyack, N.Y. Oh, why not? Apparently, there must be numerous reasons, because during my Hudson Valley daytrip with Leo Saturday, many of the grand homes along North Broadway had an unfortunate common bond: Along with extraordinary views and creative Victorian architecture, there were "For Sale" signs. Everywhere.
The manse above and below (by appointment only, please), Widewater On Hudson at 539 N. Broadway, is listed with Sotheby's for a cool $6 million. With 10,000 square feet, 12 bedrooms, 7 baths and 3.5 acres of land, a 6-car garage, 2-story riverfront boathouse/guesthouses, a 300' beach and 130' dock, what's not to love?

My life's mantra: 'The answer is yes until someone says no..." Thus, Leo literally drove his jalopy down North Broadway as I gamboled along the road, camera in hand, snooping onto the grounds of these luxury homes to snap away. I was halted twice, with the expected, "Can I help you?" (Read: "What the hell are you doing on my property?")

When I explained that I was an architecture fan visiting from the city, fortunately, no one called the cops and I continued on my way. Mind you, any interior shots here come from realtor sites: No, I did not climb through any windows. Note that each of these homes faces the Hudson, with open views to the water, if not direct access to the shore below.
Above and below, "Pretty Penny" at 235 N. Broadway was once the home of actress Helen Hayes... 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, 7,000 sf, built in 1858. It was listed in 2009 for $7.5 million, now $6 million. Zillow values it at $1.8 million. Time for a massive price reduction? Sorry, dearly departed Helen.Built in 1908, the surprisingly poorly equipped home (2 br, 2 bath) below at 531 N. Broadway is on the market for $545,000. Check out the hideous add-on dormors top center. Whoops! The Bennett Deyrup House, built in 1887, 309 N. Broadway. 8 bedrooms, 8 fireplaces, 2 baths. In 2005, this glorious historic home sold for $1.8 million—after one week on the market.
More, more, more!


  1. My respect for your courage to go there without any permission. But it was obviously worth it, great pictures! If you like architecture, especially Victorian, I recommend you to visit Cabbagetown in Toronto.

  2. Hey great stuff, and glad you liked our little villages. Actually Zillow is sadly way, way off in regards to Helen Hayes old house (which has since been owned by Rosie O'Donnell and rented by Russell Crowe). See, what Zillow can't handle in it's little computer algorithyms is a single zip code like Nyack's 10960 having homes spanning the range of cost from $190K going well into the millions all located quite close to each other. What you're seeing is a very crude average. Having just sold a nearby house for $1M that does not even come close to Pretty Penny in amenities and properties, I can tell you that the home is worth well into the multiple millions (and properties like these don't sell in weeks or even months, sadly!). The current price may not be right, but the Zillow one is MUCH further off! Still glad you like our little village - can't think of living anywhere else myself... an actor who's also a realtor? Other than NYC itself, wherelse would THAT work! Thanks for the beautiful pics, and come back anytime!

  3. Oooops, one more thing... sorry to be a nudge, but that $545,000 price is for a 2 bedroom 2 bath CONDO within that italianate mansion... there are about 8 units in there, an unusual arrangement for Upper Nyack. Just wanted to be clear - no wonder you thought Hayes' house was due for a drastic reduction! And again - amazing pics, your camera work is excellent! I know a number of realtors around here who'd love to meet YOU!


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