STONWIN Scarsdale Country Estate of Famed Jeweler Harry Winston
by Kaya Morgan
The legendary Manhattan jeweler, Harry Winston, was known not only for the high quality of his merchandise, but for the prices that went with it. Born in New York, the son of a struggling immigrant family, young Harry took it upon himself to expand the family jewelry business from a fledgling retail store into a major global enterprise.
Winston handled more of the world's most famous gemstones than any other individual, corporation or government. So well known for his jewelry, he was celebrated by name when Marilyn Monroe sang "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," in the classic 1953 Hollywood movie musical, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. "Talk to me Harry Winston, talk to me," Monroe breathlessly begs as she sings one of the signature musical numbers of her storied career.
Known as the "King of Diamonds," his desire to educate the public about precious gems led him to donate the world's most famous recognized gemstone the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution. This extraordinary gift became the cornerstone of the National Gem Collection. Recognized as America's premier jeweler, and one of the world's largest and most prestigious jewelry empires, The House of Harry Winston is unique among high fashion jewelers dating back over 100 years.
In 1702, King William III awarded the "Manor of Scarsdale" to Caleb Heathcote. Today, Scarsdale retains the style and flavor of its English roots with the handsome Tudor-style original architecture of its vibrant village center. Renowned for its distinguished estate homes and enviable quality of life, it's only appropriate that when the late Harry Winston's Scarsdale farm estate was offered for sale at a show-stopping $18 million, it became one of the highest prices ever sought for a residential property in Westchester County, and the highest price ever asked for a piece of Scarsdale real estate. However, the price tag for this unique estate should not come as a shock.
It's like entering another world as you travel down the tree-lined lane to the Winston estate, Stonwin Farm's 15 gated acres, largely undeveloped with an idyllic mix of open, level land and glorious gardens that create a magnificent setting. To begin with, as one of the last major estates in Scarsdale, it is by far the largest single parcel of land to be offered for sale in the Village of Scarsdale in recent memory. In fact, today a tract of land this size anywhere in southern Westchester County, is a rare find.
Stonwin's magnificent grounds feature open meadows along with formal areas. There are hundreds of century-old specimen trees, a myriad of plantings and formal gardens along the tree-lined drives. The estate even features ancient stone walls and a rushing stream that crosses the property with a separate road to service the barns and greenhouse.
Then there is Stonwin's overall feeling of being a true gentleman's farm, not just another fancy suburban yard. This is all the more amazing when you realize that the property sits in the heart of the Village of Scarsdale, a mere 20 miles north of midtown Manhattan. It was that unspoiled country ambiance that appealed so much to the late jeweler and that led his son, Ronald, to continue to keep the property even after his father passed away. The Winston family highly treasured the ability to quickly escape the hustle and bustle of New York City to their quiet country estate that at one time encompassed a total of 30 acres. Since 1940, the family has recognized and valued the unique nature of the property, preserving the character of the land over the 60 years they have owned it.
"My father loved Stonwin," recalls Ronald. "And for children, it was a wonderful home and property. I have many very fond memories from my childhood." Now, some other owner will have the opportunity to appreciate this rural-style retreat that is within a stone's throw of the big apple. Ronald has decided that despite the strong emotional ties he admits having to the family home, it is time for him to move on. While he concedes that the decision to sell the estate comes with mixed feelings, Ronald is hopeful that the new owner will appreciate the property as much as the Winston family has.
Built in 1911, the estate is situated on a corner and includes the 16-room main house along with a three-bedroom gatekeeper's cottage, separate three-car garage with a caretaker's apartment, three barns, a greenhouse, tennis court with a pool house and swimming pool.
The 10,000-square-foot main residence was designed in the style of a Victorian colonial manor house and reflects the elegance of a bygone era. The house includes eight bedrooms, seven baths, a powder room and seven fireplaces. It has been meticulously maintained and offers an unparalleled environment for both gracious living and grand-scale entertaining.
The interiors offer many traditional design features such as dentil moldings, classic wainscoting, stately marble fireplaces and graceful archways that accent all of the main rooms. Among its many highlights are the grand entrance hall, a library walled in honey-hued pine, exquisitely detailed formal living and dining rooms, and winter and summer porches that expand the already abundant living area.
The first floor, imposing entrance hall runs front-to-back and houses the elegant main staircase. The hallway offers access to all the main rooms through lovely archways, leading to the winter and summer porches. Centered by a handsome marble fireplace, the living room opens through its beautiful French doors to a slate terrace. Lustrous pine paneling lines the walls in the library with another cozy yet elegant fireplace. Ideal for large-scale entertaining, the dining room has a built-in china buffet and marble fireplace. The kitchen complex includes a cook's kitchen, breakfast room, pantry, two laundry rooms and a half bath, as well as a rear stairway to the second floor.
The second floor includes two adjoining master bedrooms both with marble fireplaces, several walk-in closets, and full baths. Three additional family bedrooms, two with fireplaces, each have their own full bath. A former servant's wing has three smaller bedrooms that share a bath. Additionally, the third floor includes extra bedrooms, a playroom, storage rooms and a full bath. The basement level features a recreation room, sauna and utilities.
Without a doubt, the Winston estate, Stonwin, is one of the most unusual properties to become available in Westchester in many years. In fact, thirty years ago, there were still quite a few properties such as this in the area, but today a true estate property within such close proximity to New York City is extremely unusual. Immaculately maintained, it is as if this "one-of-a kind" property has somehow been frozen in time.
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