If you want to have a cocktail at this five-bedroom, 4 1/2-bath Upper Brookville home, listed for $3.1 million, head for the silo, where the finishing touches are being put on a bar and wine tasting room.
There, a big, circular light fixture hanging above serves as a centerpiece of the unique space, which retains its salt-glazed terra-cotta tile walls. Originally, the purpose of the tiles was to protect grain stored there from fire and contamination; today, the tiles give a Tuscan feeling, listing agent Paul Mateyunas of Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty says.
What is now a sprawling residence was originally an estate farm group -- a cluster of farm buildings and living space for workers -- on banker Guernsey Curran Sr.'s 90-acre Farlands estate. Farlands was built in 1917 and later purchased by A&P heiress Josephine Hartford Bryce Douglas, Mateyunas says.
Designed by "estate architect" S. Alfred Hopkins, who specialized in custom homes and model farms, this farm group was converted into a single-family residence in the 1940s and 1950s, Mateyunas says.
"The signature of Hopkins' design is attaching all the buildings together," Mateyunas says. The main reason was to increase the efficiency of the farm groups by tying all functions together, he says, adding that it made it easier to work in bad weather.
Now situated on 2.95 acres, the home is essentially a ranch, Mateyunas explains. A former hayloft became a gym/family room. The formal dining room was once the group's milk room and retains its original arched ceiling. An entrance hallway leads to a "massive" living room; a library, eat-in kitchen and laundry are included.
Two bedrooms and two bathrooms are found on the far side of the house; in the central portion, near the pool, there are another two bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths. The master suite is on the other side of the house.
Classic Hopkins details, including fine moldings, arched ceilings and a cupola, were preserved and restored. The roof is thick cedar shake, and 25 tons of New York stone were used to build the floors and terraces of the house, says Mateyunas.
The grounds include a custom stone garden terrace that can be accessed through doors in the living room and library hall. There's also an in-ground saltwater pool and a separate four-car garage.