“Situated beyond the contamination of air and water due to great cities, upon the shores of clear salt water over a sand and pebbly bottom, near no large meadows, free from malaria, the air being pure, dry and balmy, this place offers a retreat for all who wish to retain or regain their health.”
So reads an 1894 ad published in the New York Daily Tribune touting the benefits of a home in a new development called West Neck Park in Shelter Island. Although there were originally plans for hundreds of cottages, according to a historical map, only a handful of houses were actually constructed.
But more than 120 years later, one of those homes — an exquisitely preserved Queen Anne mansion set on a rolling 4.8-acre estate — has hit the market for $32 million.If the property’s asking price is met, the sale will mark a record-breaking transaction for Shelter Island. The current record for a single residence was made in 2014 when Bumble Bee Manor sold for $9.5 million.
Royal blue and sea green walls lend a nautical air to the 7,000-square-foot house’s stunning interior. The seven-bedroom, 7.5-bath property is set along 400 feet of water frontage and has an 80-foot dock. Meanwhile, a wraparound porch provides ample room to take in the area’s “pure, dry and balmy” sea air and watch the goings-on of osprey nests that have settled nearby.
“It’s absolutely the most beautiful listing in Shelter Island,” said listing agent Beate Moore of Sotheby’s International Realty. “Everything is just so breathtaking and beautiful.”
One of the property’s most notable features is a soaring flagpole made from the mast of a vessel once sailed by tea magnate Thomas Lipton in the America’s Cup. Equally memorable is a five-story windmill-turned-guest cottage, which features a guest suite, kitchen and entertainment area. There is also a small boat house.
“You can sleep in it and listen to the crashing waves,” Moore said.
Other amenities include a gunite pool, spa, meticulous landscaping with mature trees and basketball and tennis courts.
Richard Tarlow and his then-wife, Sandy, who died in 2003, purchased the home in 1983 and updated many of its fixtures. They’re also responsible for its stylish interior.
“While they kept the integrity of the house, they certainly added all the amenities and made it aesthetically much more beautiful,” Moore said.
The West Neck Park neighborhood was originally developed by John L. Nostrand — hence the name Nostrand Parkway, the road on which the house sits. Mr. Nostrand purchased 1,000 acres of land on the western side of the island in 1883, according to Louise Tuthill Green’s “Images of America: Shelter Island.”
Mr. Nostrand eventually sold the Nostrand Parkway property to Brooklyn beer baron William Ulmer, but it’s unclear when the flagpole was installed. It has had just two owners, Moore said.
Mr. Tarlow, an advertising executive, will move to a contemporary home on an adjacent property, which he also owns.
The Queen Anne mansion has soared in value since the last time it changed hands. Mr. Tarlow purchased the property for just $640,000 in 1983, according to the Shelter Island Town tax assessor’s office.
While promises of fresh air and soul-replenishing beauty still ring true on Shelter Island, one thing has, unfortunately, changed since the late 19th century.
“Now is the best time to get the best plots at the best prices,” the 1894 ad states.
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