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(Photo credit: Brian Bailey)

Long admired by architecture enthusiasts, modernists and industrialists, and long watched on the local real estate market, the midcentury Snyder House has sold for $12.95 million, setting a record for a single-family sale on Shelter Island.

In addition to securing the record price, Nick Brown, the listing agent who represented the property for Sotheby’s International Realty, said, “We were able find a buyer who feels strongly about preserving the home and property in much the same way as the sellers have for the last 20-plus years.”

Built in 1952 by Bauhaus-trained architect Bertrand Goldberg for John Synder, a railway executive, the house combines mid-century industrialism, Bauhaus design and contemporary updates. Now known as “Swept Away,” the house was completely renovated by the sellers/owners in 2002. They kept the original footprint, flagstone floors and the massive eight-flue stone fireplace that anchors the main floor, but updated infrastructure systems, bathrooms, the primary suite, and added amenities such as walk-in closets, radiant floor heating and media and yoga rooms. The 6,006-square foot house has six bedrooms and four bathrooms. 

“I felt lucky to be tasked with finding the home’s next steward.” 

Nick Brown, Sotheby’s International Realty

Brown did extensive research into the home’s history, building an irresistible back story. “This home, originally built as a modular home and delivered via a barge, is testament to a truly innovative mind. The partnership between the original owner and architect clearly was forward thinking and unique, and together they created a property for the ages,” he says.

Though the listing enjoyed a steady stream of press and Brown was able to leverage the marketing power of Sotheby’s, it took a while to find the right buyer. The house was listed privately for two months before being on the public market for a year.

“It required a lot of work but I would not say that it felt like a challenge. Every time I went to a showing I was captivated by the incredible beauty and tranquility,” he says, adding every visitor was equally “awe struck” by the views of West Neck Harbor and the home naturally anchored in the landscape. “I felt lucky to be tasked with finding the home’s next steward.” 

(Photo credit: Chris Foster)

“People who identified as appreciators of modernist homes as well as those who never saw themselves living in a modern home always fell in love with the property,” he says. “I would say a common thread among those that expressed interest was a desire for privacy and direct water access.” The property includes an unusually long dock of 250 feet that cuts through the 410 feet of private waterfront. The house is sited on 3.4 acres. 

Brown said the new owner intends to use the home as a family retreat, adding, “the ultimate buyer was astute enough to know that this listing represented an opportunity of a lifetime.”