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217 Rose Hill Rd, Water Mill, NY. (Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty)

If you ever had dreams of creating a gentleman’s farm or just having a graciouis space to get away from it all, here’s a house that’s just waiting for you. 

(Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty)

Though the architects, Goodwillie and Moran, were better known for their industrial and commercial buildings in and around the New York-New Jersey area, they also designed elegant private homes with classical themes such as this manse at 217 Rose Hill Road that is offered by Sotheby’s International Realty.

Rose Hill Road is home to several examples of historic and eclectic architecture: Rosemary Lodge (1884), which is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places; the Corwith-Jennings House (1900) and this iconic circa 1925 Georgian-style country home in an idyllic setting. It was published in the August 1932 Architectural Record as “A Country House at Water Mill, Long Island, the Home of Mrs. Norma T. Johnson” and described as being built of “old Virginia brick with wood trimmings and a slate roof. All details have been carefully studied from authentic Georgian precedents” with ornamental ironwork found in the loggia rail, dining, sleeping, and living room porches.

The house is approached through a brick-columned entry and via a long, tree-lined driveway. The open, rolling southern lawn wraps around to the rear of the property, providing a generous, open eastern vista across Mecox Bay. The ornamental detail at the front door hints at what’s within—classic details such as arches, fluted columns, picture frame molding throughout and handsome walnut paneling.

The home is not typical of the Hamptons said Harald Grant, the Sotheby’s agent representing the listing. “This is the Middleburg of the Hamptons, with a formality to it that’s not appreciated.”

Still, he says, the details and the bones are gorgeous and “if you have the money and the right attitude, you can do a lot with it.” He said some of the formality could be knocked out with renovations.

“If you like Georgian architecture, keep the exterior and open up the interior and make it more beachy, less formal,” he suggests. “You can bring it to a more modern style and be usable for a family.”

With 7,900 square feet over two levels, the house ensures even the largest family will have plenty of room to roam. The first floor is classically laid out with most of the space devoted to large common areas—a 583-square-foot living room, 304-square -library with a wet bar and built-in bookshelves, 428-square-foot dining room and a 387-square-foot window-lined sunroom/gallery overlooking the back yard. The living room is paneled, floor to ceiling in walnut with Grinling Gibbons carvings over doors and mantel, and featuring arched built-in bookcases. All wood-burning fireplaces are working. There’s egress to an oval-shaped outdoor loggia.

217 Rose Hill Rd, Water Mill, NY. (Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty)

The kitchen is divided into three sections: the 420-square-foot main area, an eat-in breakfast nook and a butler’s pantry. Set off from the kitchen is the former staff wing, a small suite consisting of a bedroom, bathroom, sitting room and another bonus room suitable as an office or bedroom. It offers access into the three-car garage. The sitting room offers access to the terrace and the exterior grounds, making this an independent unit that has shared access to the kitchen.

The second floor is devoted to five bedrooms, including a 400-square-foot primary suite that faces the bay with its own porch, and a 480-square-foot family room with a fireplace and small balcony. Two bedrooms are ensuite; the other two share a hallway bathroom. They range in size from 180 to 266 square feet. There are also two hallway storage areas on this floor. 

The unfinished basement level of the home is used for storage and to house mechanicals. 

While the house represents a unique opportunity to reimagine a grand estate, Grant says “this home is really about the location.” The 5.37-acre lot can be subdivided, with each lot offering waterfront access. The property currently offers 330 feet of direct waterfront access, including a dock, on Hayground Cove, leading into Mecox Bay. The back lawn rolls down to the cove, hedged by large, mature trees offering privacy all around. The 50 x 30 foot gunite pool is heated and there’s room for a tennis court.

The house features a number of covered porches and open patios all with handsome bricking or flagstone pavers and with views to the bay. 

Rose Hill Road is south of the highway and .6 miles from the historic hamlet of Water Mill, the only settlement on the South Fork with both a functioning watermill and windmill. This year, the RealtyHop blog listed it as the fifth most expensive ZIP Code in the United States and the second most expensive ZIP code in New York State. Bold face names who have made their homes or spent time here include Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Matt Lauer.

Water Mill is home to the 125-year-old Parrish Art Museum. It is also the location of the Watermill Center art space, which provides residencies to artists and offers tours, activities and performance events to the public. 

The Georgian-style home at 217 Rose Hill Road lists for $25,000,000 and the details can be seen here.