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A Meticulously Restored Marcel Breuer (With Hudson River Views) Asks $4.2M

Thursday, August 20, 2020   /   by The Villages Home Search

A Meticulously Restored Marcel Breuer (With Hudson River Views) Asks $4.2M

Location: Croton-on-Hudson, New York
Year built: 1953
Architect: Marcel Breuer
Specs: 6 beds, 4 baths, 4,064 square feet, 3.4 acres
Price: $4,200,000

Bauhaus-trained architect and furniture designer Marcel Breuer is responsible for dozens of iconic Brutalist buildings, from the Y-shaped UNESCO headquarters in Paris to the “inverted-ziggurat” Met Breuer museum in New York City. But the road to those splashy institutional projects was paved with residential experiments, mostly built in the Northeast, that defied Colonial and Cape Cod traditions in favor of walls of glass, angular roofs, and an abundance of stone.

The 1953 Neumann House is a great example. The home just hit the market an hour north of Manhattan along the Hudson River — and it may be the most impeccably restored Breuer in existence. The home, which is located at 19-21 Finney Farm Road, was originally designed for George and Vera Neumann, a couple Breuer met in New York when he was hired to build Fifth Avenue showrooms for Vera’s scarfs (which were worn by Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly). Perched on a 3.5-acre hilltop site with panoramic views of the river, the house has a facade of floor-to-ceiling glass accented by red, white, and blue concrete walls, as well as hand-hewn stone walls wrapping around patios and an outdoor pool.

A stone terrace looks out onto the Hudson River and mountains beyond.
The outdoor pool, cut into the stone perimeter of the terrace, follows the slope of the terrain and looks onto the Hudson River.
Photo by Dan Milstein, courtesy of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty

Over the decades, the home went through only one addition — a 1970 Breuer-designed wing that houses an indoor swimming pool. In 2014, the Neumann House was purchased by a couple that had spent years reviving two other Breuer homes, both in Litchfield, Connecticut. According to a 2018 Architectural Digest feature on the top-to-bottom restoration, Ken Sena and Joseph Mazzaferro used archival evidence and interviews with “anyone with firsthand knowledge of the house” to modernize the place with respect to Breuer’s original vision. This included rebuilding interior walls, replacing broken radiant heated floors, and, on the exterior, knocking down trees and power lines for an unobstructed view of the Hudson. The four-and-a-half year project led to a 2019 Excellence in Historic Preservation award from the Preservation League of New York State.

In the main house and four-room guest house, you’ll find Honduras cypress wood ceilings and bluestone floors. The kitchen features walnut detailing, and in the middle of the living room sits a bush-hammered concrete fireplace. The original furnishings Breuer designed for the home (including a wood platform bed) were salvaged or rebuilt. And throughout the home, the indoor-outdoor connection is prioritized, with thermal-pane sliding glass doors framing the river landscape in nearly every room.

A living room has slate stone floors and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto a patio.
The curving hand-hewn stone walls on the patio mesh with the home’s bluestone floors while contrasting with the steel beams and glass walls.
Photo by Undine Prohl, courtesy of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty
A living room with a stone fireplace, three white chairs, and a gray rug.
The living room is anchored by a bush-hammered concrete fireplace.
Photo by Dan Milstein, courtesy of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty
A small bedroom has a red couch, blue chair, and sliding glass doors out to the patio.
Breuer designed each of the six bedrooms with sliding glass doors that accessed the stone patio.
Photo by Tim Lenz, courtesy of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty
An indoor pool area has wood siding, a long pool, and skylights.
A neon sculpture of a flower in the indoor pool area was added by Sena and Mazzaferro during the restoration to pay homage to Vera Neumann, whose scarfs often featured floral designs.
Photo by Tim Lenz, courtesy of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty
A concrete picnic table sits under a covered patio outside.
An elevated patio provides respite from the sun.
Photo by Dan Milstein, courtesy of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty
A stone courtyard sits between a red wall and a bedroom.
A private courtyard, formed by walls of glass, red-painted concrete, and natural fieldstone.
Photo by Undine Prohl, courtesy of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty
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