Just a 50-mile drive or under an hour train ride from New York City, Gilded Age abundance meets modern architectural ingenuity at this prized Princeton marvel ready for memorable entertaining on any scale. As the grandest of four turn-of-the-century outbuildings on the famous Drumthwacket estate, now the official residence of the governor, nothing better reflects the opulence of the period than the spectacular dairy barn, built for Moses Taylor Pyne by prominent architect Raleigh Gildersleeve. Replete with towers and an ornate iron gate, the castle-like Tudor structure was really more of a fashionable homage to blissful rural life. The original fountain still splashes beneath majestic sycamores in the courtyard and an intact stone trough is among the intriguing farm-life relics that remain. After a period of neglect, the Director of the Princeton University Art Museum (and former Monuments Man) and then subsequently the Dean at Princeton’s School of Architecture boldly reinvented the structure as a home, office and venue for hosting personal, professional and gala-style events. Today sleek glass and steel join rustic wood and weathered brick in the core of the house, where ceilings rise an astonishing 26 feet. The chef-designed Boffi kitchen, with refrigeration, two dishwashers and pantry hidden behind slabs of walnut and custom cabinets, provides a welcome departure from the soaring openness. A recently finished wing was designed with privacy and flexibility in mind, including three bedrooms, a loft and plenty of open space, all with ceilings of at least 11 feet, which are served by two modern bathrooms with double sinks and showers, a newly-equipped laundry room and a custom mudroom, also sheathed in walnut. Three bedrooms above the mezzanine level in the main house are completely refreshed with refinished floors, brand new closets and built-ins, a second laundry and two newly renovated baths, both stylishly tiled and perfectly roomy. Through the main suite, a lofty retreat with an amazing courtyard view, a sitting room opens to an outdoor area ripe with possibilities. The western wing of the home includes a wine cellar, a huge family room, an additional office or bedroom, a powder room, and additional storage space to serve as you please. Imagine opening your home to visiting friends for long weekends away from the city. Host starlit soirees in the courtyard or serve drinks beside the 6-ft fireplace. By day, stroll to town, explore the nearby Institute Woods or pack a picnic to enjoy in neighboring Battlefield Park. Just as indulgent and blissful as originally intended!
Listing courtesy of Callaway Henderson Sotheby's Int'l-Princeton. Contact: (609) 921-1050