Atalanta, a Hudson River Mansion on the Grand Scale of neighbors north & south, was erected in 1851 of brick & stone by noted British architect Frank Wills. It evinces fulsome & artful details from his skill in ecclesiastical design. Its Italianate articulation had Romanesque flourishes of great power. It was built for Franklin Hughes Delano (for whom great nephew FDR was named) & his bride Laura Astor, daughter to William Backhouse Astor, then, upon death of his father J.J.Astor (1848), the richest man in America. He gifted the parcel (95 ac.) from his own 724 ac. Rockeby to the north as a wedding present. The estate was enlarged in 1873 when Laura acquired her brother's 142 acres north & again in 1875 when Franklin bought the 254 ac. Palatine farm south. Known during 133 yr. Astor/Delano ownership as Steen Valetje (little stone valley) for the so-named creek that runs just south of the Main House, its sumptuous interior (16,600 s.f.) includes commodious Public Rooms with 18' ceilings, frescoes, exquisite fretwork & marble fireplaces with delicately carved surrounds (16). These Public Rooms have oak & mahogany parquet floors, & often French doors that open to River Terraces & Porticoes. The house affords 10 generously proportioned bedrooms (several are ensuite), 10 full & 3 half baths, a Formal wainscoted & architraved Entrance Hall & Grand Staircase with its domed & frescoed skylight & adjoining Upstairs Hall, also with its companion domed and frescoed skylight. British & NY architect Thomas Stent (NY Public Library & Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Canada) designed the major replacement of the southern extension, with Grand Living Room/Ballroom (42x26') & Galleries, of Steen Valetje & other interior embellishments in 1881. The present day 145 ac. Atalanta is surrounded on north, east & south sides by lands owned by or under conservation easement with Scenic Hudson. The west boundary lies a ways into east waters of the Hudson River. The main entrance from River Road is via a stone pillared gate & arch windowed & hip roofed Gatehouse designed by Walter Schickles & Co. c. 1878. Building on plans & landscape work of arborist to royalty Hans Jacob Ehlers (1804-1858) & son Louis, it now enjoys ancient oak lanes, lawns, greenhouse, 7 barns, Pool & Doric Poolhouse, 4 Guesthouses, gardens, 3 ponds & indoor arena & stables. Of scale, pedigree & careful stewardship, it is set in a string of pearls of homes to families that brought America to star on the world sta
RT 199 towards Kingston Bridge to right on River Road (RT 103) to second Gate on left (Atalanta).
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