Frank Lloyd Wright. The award-winning architect, famous for cantilevered houses like “Fallingwater” in Pennsylvania, two of his homes that are located here in the Hudson Valley are for sale.
Set on a private 10-acre island in the middle of Lake Mahopac in Putnam County are a 1950s cottage designed by Wright and a main house that was built based on Wright’s drawings. The pair of homes and island, located at 1 Petre Island in Carmel, are listed by Douglas elliman for just under $10 million.
“It’s really for the collector,” said Margaret Harrington, licensed associate real estate broker from Douglas Elliman, of the listing. “It’s for someone looking for something extremely unique that has the appreciation for this style of architecture and cares for the preservation of the design.”
Known as the Massaro House and the A. K. Chahroudi Cottage, the homes are the only pieces of Wright-designed architecture located in the Hudson Valley region. Most people associate the Midwest with Wright, who famously developed the uniquely American “Prairie Style” of architecture in the Chicago area, Wisconsin and beyond. Wright’s own winter estate, Taliesin West, in Scottsdale, Arizona, is another well-known work. Buffalo also is home to a handful of Wright designs as well.
The Petre Island main house, named after owners Joseph and Barbara Massaro, was the subject of some controversy in the architecture world because it was built after Wright’s death in 1959 and without the involvement of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The 5,000 square foot house, designed by Wright 10 years prior to his passing, was built in the early 2000s by architect Thomas A. Heinz.
Today, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will only recognize the Massaro House as being inspired by Wright and says it is not an official Frank Lloyd Wright creation.
Margaret Harrington blames the lack of recognition upon a legal dispute that could potentially be resolved by a new owner, since the Massaro House was “100 percent true to Frank Lloyd Wright because [Massaro had] the original plans and … built it exactly according to the plans,” she said.
The home, which is built around a natural rock formation that figures prominently in the home, features an outdoor seating area perched above the lake. Wright believed in designing in harmony with humanity and the environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. Inside, the home boasts classic Wright design elements, including skylights, long window-lined rooms and corridors, built-in furniture, and the strong presence of wood and stone throughout.
The 1,200-square foot cottage, named after the original owner Ahmed Chahroudi, was designed by Wright in 1951. Together, the homes feature six bedrooms and three and a half baths.
The property is surrounded by a 593-acre lake and is reachable via a five-minute boat ride from the mainland, or by helicopter — there is a helipad on-site. The property is a one-hour drive from Manhattan or a 15-minute helicopter ride.
“You’re surrounded by the lake and every different part of the house has a very different view,” said Harrington. “Whether you’re facing west and getting a full sunset or you’re on the east side during sunrise, it’s incredible.”
The forest on the island has been there for hundreds of years. “It’s incredibly peaceful,” said Harrington.
According to OneKey multiple listing service, the property was listed by Douglas Elliman in 2018 for $12.9 million, and Harrington toured the property with Architectural Digest for its YouTube channel. In early 2020, the price was lowered to $9,950,000.