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An Authentic Mid-Century Gem

Address: 15 Finney Farm Road, Croton-on-Hudson, NY
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
Square feet: 2,118
Acres: 1.22
Year Built: 1951
Price: $4,250,000

Ken Sena was already living in and restored the Neumann House, built by modernist architect Marcel Breuer, when the house next door went on the market. It isn’t every day you have the chance to a restore a true mid-century gem, let alone two, so Sena and his partner Joseph Mazzaferro jumped at the chance. “It was this truly fascinating modern house perched just right, capturing views of the Hudson,” says Sena of the Volner House. 

The Volner House was built by Seymour Howard Jr., before the Neumann House, in the little enclave of mid-century modern homes built in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, in the 1950s. Howard, a graduate of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and an associate of Sert Jackson, contributed to projects like the UNESCO headquarters alongside Breuer. Sena and Mazzaferro earned the New York State Preservation Award in 2019 for their efforts restoring the Neumann House. The honor sits proudly beside four other awards they received from Docomomo U.S. and the CT Historical Trust for restoration of other homes by Marcel Breuer and John M. Johansen. 

With renovations complete, the main house at Volner maintains its original floor plan and features three bedrooms and two bathrooms while the newly built guest house mirrors the original structure and provides additional guest space, access to the newly constructed pool and a heated three-car garage. “These additions provide modern amenities and extra living space all while preserving the stunning views of the Hudson River,” says real estate agent Dalia Valdes, who shares the listing with Inger Stringfellow, both real estate agents with Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. The guest house includes an open en suite bedroom, living room and full kitchen. The guest house and main house are intentionally not connected. “Having separated spaces is part of the experience, as the outdoors are meant to be experienced as opposed to avoided,” says Sena. 

Both the main house and guest house have wood burning fireplaces, slate floors, wall-to-wall birch paneling, custom cabinetry with Dekaton countertops, Bosch appliances and stone terraces for outdoor living space. Having renovated a number of homes such as this, Sena says, they knew the architectural significance of the property and the provenance would make this one highly desirable. “Purists prefer [a] restored [mid-century modern] with original design concept intact versus newly imagined renovation but appreciate the quality of the restoration and state-of-the-art amenities,” says Valdes. “Fifteen Finney Farm has all of that and more: unobstructed views of the Hudson River and beyond and in a cluster of other important moderns, all within 45 minutes from New York City.”

Upgrading the home to today’s modern standards was important. The home is now equipped with a Creston home control system with touch screen and remote management of the entire home, radiant and forced air heating (including radiant heat snow-melt walking paths outside), Weather Shield premium series aluminum clad casement windows with insulated low-e argon glass, membrane roofs with ballast stone treatment, slate tile flooring and blue stone flagging exterior, and a clear vertical grain Douglas fir exterior siding. The heated gunite pool has a cascading waterfall with an infinity edge.

“My favorite spot is the terraced patios where the sound of the cascading pool and the rare, magnificent views of the Hudson never cease to captivate me,” says Valdes. “This stretch of the river presents a dynamic landscaping, curving gracefully as it hugs the water and meets the sky with its hills. The blend of water, greenery and natural stone creates a serene atmosphere, fostering a deep intimate connection with nature that I never tire of.”

That same view is surely what drew original owner Vera Volner and her husband Kelsey, a fervent advocate for modern homes for working people, to purchase Finney Farm circa 1950. “Croton-on-Hudson has always attracted those seeking a more bohemian lifestyle and it continues to do so today,” says Valdes. The home was once the property of Horace Greeley. Isadora Duncan and Ezra Pound were known to visit. Alexander Calder grew up down the street. Ultimately, it attracted modernists with similar ideals. Howard, the home’s architect, lived next door. Fashion designer and textilist, Vera Neumann, and graphic illustrator, Rudi Bass, soon were neighbors. Vera and her husband George had Marcel Breuer as their architect, while Rudi Bass and the Volners worked with H. Seymour Howard Jr., a Sert Jackson associate, on the Volner house. 

 “Finney Farm is part of a chain of communities extending from Western Connecticut to Western Pennsylvania,” says Valdes. She adds that it showcases “the enduring appeal of those unique, creatively inclined enclaves.”

Contact:

Julia B Fee Sotheby’s International Realty
Dalia H. Valdes
Licensed real estate broker
914-772-8002, dalia.valdes@juliabfee.com
Inger J. Stringfellow
Real estate salesperson
203-321-9361, istringfellow@wpsir.com

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