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Irvington, NY, is known for its efforts to preserve 19th-century architectural gems that reflect how the wealthy lived during the height of America's Gilded Age. Now one of those gems is on the market for $2.95, million and it's only a 30-minute commute from midtown Manhattan.
This eight-bedroom home was built by Cyrus West Field, a man once famous for laying the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable. Field built the 8,000-square-foot home in 1875 for one of his daughters and her husband, who was from South Africa. The entrepreneur named the mansion Inanda, which means "pleasant place" in Zulu.
"To this day it holds a unique place in the area," says Bernadette Haley, who along with partners Elizabeth Beth Hargraves and Maria Carlino, is listing the home. Field once owned 800 acres in Irvington, and the area consisting of his former land holdings is now known as Ardsley Park.
"It's a very prestigious community and a very special place," Haley says.
The sellers have been in the home -- which sits on 2.34-acres and offers views of the Hudson River -- for 14 years.
"They appreciated the historic value of the home and also appreciated having today's amenities, so they made extensive repairs and updates," Haley explains.
The sellers spent six weeks stripping paint from the wood walls and trim in the entry hallway to restore them to their former grandeur. They commissioned new sconces in the classic Tiffany style to pay homage to the original Tiffany tiles in a bathroom as well as original Tiffany windows in the dining room, Haley explains.
The master bathroom has been modernized, while the kitchen reflects the sellers' love of cooking and entertaining, Hargraves explains. The kitchen features a commercial dishwasher and walk-in refrigerator, among other amenities. The sellers once hosted 72 guests for Thanksgiving, cooking four large turkeys simultaneously in the large kitchen.
Other creature comforts were also updated. Central air conditioning was added, and two heating zones were created for efficiency and comfort. Original windows were updated with brass chains to ensure they open and close properly. Two central vacuum systems were installed.
The home features both wood- and coal-burning fireplaces. Over the years, copper gutters and an in-ground swimming pool were added. An elevator shaft also exists in the home. Though not currently functioning, it could be fitted with an elevator should a new owner want one.
Walk into the home and "you feel like you're in a piece of history. It's just beautiful and grand," says Hargraves.
"Yet warm and grand," adds Haley. It's just the place for new owners to create family memories of their own that will rival any from the Gilded Age.