Grand View's Sheltercove Is Easy To Spot

Posted by Shayna Finck — September 10, 2006

The Journal NewsBy Shayna FinckSeptember 9, 2006Driving through Grand View-on-Hudson — the two-mile stretch bordering the Hudson River between Nyack and Piermont — it's easy to spot Sheltercove, the only Italianate-style home in the tiny, upscale village. The house, originally built circa 1873 as a clapboard Victorian with a mansard roof, was converted in the mid-1920s. With its white stucco exterior and terra cotta tile roof, the property reminds listing agent David Sanders more of a house you'd find on the West Coast than the East. "For one thing, it has a red tile roof, which is very unusual in Rockland County," says Sanders, owner of Sanders Properties Inc., in Nyack. "It has a sort of roaring '20s feeling that was so popular at the time, which is when this house was changed over. ... What it has is a Beverly Hills feel, really." Owner Michael Nigro describes his home as Italianate on the outside, with its "beautiful trellises with old wisteria vines growing over the portico" that conjure up images of Tuscany. On the inside, he says, it's more of a classic Victorian, with the high ceilings and ornate plaster and woodwork reminiscent of the era. "I absolutely fell in love with the character of the house," says Nigro of his first encounter. "It had been restored a couple of times and really brought back to its former beauty and glory." While Nigro credits the previous owners (and building contractor Henry Otley of Palisades) with the bulk of the home's restoration, he also made many improvements during his brief stay as owner. (He was relocated for work after eight months in the home.) In addition to restoring some of the plaster moldings, he installed central air conditioning and updated the home's wiring. On the third floor, he renovated a sleeping porch overlooking the river by installing removable windows, heat, and ceramic tile floors, thereby making it usable year-round. On the second level, Nigro converted the office into a large dressing room with a California Closets system. The former dressing room in the master suite became a lounge area between the master bedroom and the bathroom, which boasts Onyx floors, double antique-style sinks and separate shower and tub. His biggest mark on the property, however, is outdoors. With the help of Cipriano Landscape Design in Ridgewood, N.J., Nigro began a two-phase renovation of the 0.79 acre setting, of which phase 1 was completed. (The plans for phase 2, including an elaborate forecourt and pool/Jacuzzi, are available for the future owners, says Sanders.) "The property had these beautiful old trees and old grounds and I had them all bedded and a sprinkler system put in," says Nigro. "I added a new bluestone patio and walkways, as well as pathway and tree lighting. And I had some of the beautiful old trees moved around. I kind of had to reorganize the property." Back inside, his favorite room in the 5,200-square-foot house is the formal dining room, an 18-foot by 13-foot area with parquet floors, a wood-burning fireplace and a large bracketed bay window. As an avid collector of cut glass and porcelain sculpture, he utilized the house's many nooks and crannies, such as the bay window, to showcase his collections. His second favorite room, he says, is the breakfast room behind the kitchen. He describes the bright, sunny space with French doors and transom windows providing picturesque views of the backyard as "a good place to have coffee in the morning." The room's tumbled marble floors with radiant heating extend into the kitchen, a state-of-the-art gourmet cook's dream with side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerator (and separate wine cooler), Bosch dishwasher, Thermador double wall ovens, black granite countertops, triple sink, and custom cabinetry, to begin the list. Sanders points out that what's most attractive about the home is no single feature, but the overall feeling of elegance. "Architecturally, it's a stunning house because there's this grand feeling about it, like in the style of Tuxedo Park (he says referring to the exclusive Orange County enclave). But the first thing that strikes me about this house is the high ceilings. They are about 11-feet tall with beautiful moldings everywhere," says Sanders, who is on the governing board of Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate, publisher of Luxury Real Magazine. Despite its grandeur, Sanders thinks the house would be perfect for a family with children. With 6 bedrooms and 4 1/2 bathrooms, as well as several gathering areas, it strikes a comfortable balance of space for togetherness and privacy. Nigro says though his stay was brief, he will miss Sheltercove. "I'll miss the space and the large, bright rooms," he says. "I love old houses, but old houses are usually darker. This one has big, huge floor-to-ceiling windows. I think I'll miss that the most." to full article:

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