Just beyond the famed Belle Terre gatehouse lies this grand estate, its pair of stone staircases reaching out to wrap the auto court—and its guests—in a warm embrace. Weather permitting, visitors take the twenty or so steps from the car to the main level of the home in a slow, purposeful procession that reveals the roof’s peaks and valleys above the handsome, arched wood entry door. In inclement weather, pull right through either of the two garage doors, which happen to be warmed with wood. Inside is the first hint that no detail was lost: The walls match the exterior’s earth-toned stucco, stone and brick.
This home was designed for those who enjoy entertaining with effortless style and the crown jewel is the hearth. The massive gourmet kitchen, fitted with high-end, stainless steel appliances (Sub-zero and so forth) around a pair of cream-colored islands topped with smoothed stone, will handle the group of guests that will inevitably huddle around during holiday gatherings. Entertain them here or encourage mingling in the adjacent two-story living room, flooded with light from 24 windows and doors revealing the stone patio beyond.
The well-heeled village of Belle Terre sits high on a bluff above bustling Port Jefferson. Although it shines in the summer, arriving at the snow-draped Chateau-style gatehouse has a quaint, nostalgic feel all its own. The structure announces the wealth and style that has characterized the area since the early 1900s. A drive through the village may seem familiar, like a jaunt through Shelter Island or Southampton or upstate Tuxedo Park, which provided the inspiration for Belle Terre (literally: Beautiful land). To visit during the holidays or any time of year is to be in good company: The likes of the Astors, Vanderbilts and Whitneys came here, attracted by a 100-guest-room clubhouse, private golf course and other amenities. Quite a way to come in from the cold.
By The Numbers
List Price: $2,180,000
Year Built: 1920
Baths: 4 full, 1 half
Lot Size: 2.38 acres
Listing Agency: Coach Realtors