A home built for a fashion icon by an architecture icon is now on the market for $4.2 million.
The fully restored midcentury modern residence on Finney Farm Road in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, was built in 1953 for the artist Vera Neumann. She was known for her bold and colorful textiles, as well as her signature scarves, each signed “Vera” and featuring a ladybug.
In the early 1950s, she and her husband, George Neumann, hired her friend the celebrated architect Marcel Breuer to design a 3,200-square-foot home on almost 3.5 acres on the Hudson River.
Breuer was a modernist architect and furniture designer who studied at the famous Bauhaus and spent time teaching at Harvard.
“It was custom-built for them, and she lived there for about 30 years,” says the co-listing agent, Inger Stringfellow.
“It was an important house. She did a lot of entertaining both indoors and outdoors with people from New York City and the arts.”
Neumann eventually sold the five-bedroom, three-bathroom home to an antique dealer, who lived in the home for a few decades and then sold it to the current owners in 2014 for $1.3 million.
“It was not in good shape when my clients bought it. They are really devotees of Breuer in particular,” Stringfellow explains.
The couple had already restored two midcentury modern homes in Litchfield, CT, so they were prepared for a major project with the Breuer design.
As the agent puts it, “Everything got taken apart and put back together again.”
As an example of the meticulous nature of the renovation, each stone in the blue stone floors was taken up, numbered, cleaned up, and put back in the exact same configuration.
The home features two pools: one indoors and one outdoors. The indoor pool was a Breuer-designed addition in the early 1970s, and the outdoor one dates back to the home’s inception. Both were in sorry shape in 2014.
“The outdoor pool was almost filled with dirt and had plants growing in it, and the indoor pool was not in great shape. They literally had to be taken apart and put together again,” Stringfellow says.
There’s also an 800-square-foot guesthouse with one bedroom and one bathroom, which is connected to the main house.
The current owners’ restoration work received the 2019 Preservation League of New York State Award for Excellence in Historical Restoration.
“It literally is perfection. There was a lot of work to be done,” Stringfellow says. “The bathrooms and kitchen have all been done with top-end fixtures.”
The furniture isn’t included in the sale price, except for the pieces that are built in, like headboards, credenzas, and the chairs that match the built-in sofa. However, other pieces that appear in the listing photos can be negotiated into an offer.
The windows are frameless, with new mechanisms, to preserve the views of the Hudson River.
“As you enter the house, you look out from the courtyard looking west out over the Hudson, with just magical views,” says Stringfellow.
“Then the house is open to the other side to this beautiful interior courtyard, with a pergola that casts magnificent shadows, depending on the time of day. There’s a lot of drama in the house, but it’s also extremely peaceful.”
The agent tells us she believes the buyer will be a creative type, ready to pick up a turnkey beauty.
“There is a cult following for these moderns,” she says. “They’re purists, and they would like to have the originals, but restored up to the current standards.”