Gilded Age glory

Presented by Houlihan Lawrence

Photographs by Tim Lee

With two bronze lions fiercely guarding its majestic entrance, Lionwalk seems to have a most fitting name.

The Palladian-style manor in Bedford Hills, though, offers more than just a private retreat for those with an affinity for animals.

Sure, there are more modest lion sculptures gracing a stately mantel in one room, cozy chairs sporting elephant-themed upholstery in another and a statue of a polo player mid-game, too.

And yes, the 13-plus acres feature impressive equestrian facilities that include a four-stall barn with a tack room and half-bath, four paddocks and a riding ring. There is also direct access to the Bedford Riding Lanes.

But that is just the start of the array of amenities found on the property that traces its history back to 1895 when the home was planned on the axis of an immense apple orchard, remnants of which today continue to grace the supremely private setting.

Once known as Whitegates Farm, Lionwalk features formal gardens created in the 1920s by Marian Coffin. The pioneering master landscape designer added a French-style allée and masses of rhododendron and azalea in keeping with her design at Winterthur, the duPont estate in Delaware that continues today as a museum and garden showcase.

Twin pergolas entwined with wisteria, a gift from the Emperor of Japan, are another highlight of the arboretum-like surroundings that also include a pond with waterfall and grand entertaining terraces from which to admire it all.

The setting itself has hosted many celebrated visitors over the years, including author Edith Wharton, who is said to have spent time writing on her early visits to the estate and whose work included home design books as well as novels.

Peerless recreational facilities are found in a 50-foot pool, a tennis court and an indoor spa, while a guest cottage and a Lord & Burnham greenhouse also grace the landscape.

A totally renovated main residence takes center stage on the expansive grounds, which lie in the heart of the prized Guard Hill estate area.

Within the manor, exceptional design and unrivalled architectural detail combine with artisan craftsmanship. Only the beauty of the surroundings matches the unwavering attention to detail.

No detail was overlooked in the extensive renovations, with superb materials and beautiful finishes distinguishing every room of the house.

Custom millwork, rich paneling, hand-painted wall coverings, antique fountains and statuesque antique fireplaces count among the many special highlights that refine the grandly scaled living spaces. In addition, a soft palette and light-filled ambience throughout provide the ideal backdrop for modern luxury living.

The residence offers a wonderful flow for grand entertaining with more than 15,000 square feet of beautifully rendered living space on three main levels.

Magnificent living and dining rooms, along with twin mahogany paneled libraries resplendent with ornate detailing and original fireplaces, mix easily with inviting family spaces. These include an enormous new kitchen complex, a comfortable family room and a dazzling conservatory that boasts a full bar, a billiards area and a media room.

The spa facilities rival those of any five-star resort with two indoor spa pools, a gym, a sauna and a steam room further enhancing the residence fitted with the latest technological systems.

A lavish master suite is the showpiece of the eight bedrooms in the house proper, while the guest cottage hosts two apartments and adjoins the greenhouse.

Throughout, there is a supreme sense of privacy for those who are lucky enough to call Lionwalk, one of Westchester County’s most illustrious properties, home.

LIONWALK

AT A GLANCE

• Bedford Hills

• 15,458 square feet

• 13.277 acres

• Bedrooms: 8

• Baths: 9 full, 9 half

• Amenities: 50-foot pool, tennis court, indoor spa, formal gardens, pond, waterfall, guest cottage, Lord & Burnham greenhouse, six-car garage, six-bay equipment garage, four-stall barn, paddocks, outdoor ring and direct access to riding lanes.

• Price: $17.9 million

For more information, contact Cynthia Jaffee of Houlihan Lawrence at (914) 610-6206, (914) 234-9099, Ext. 306 or cjaffee@houlihanlawrence.com.

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