Wedding gifts aren’t what they used to be. In 1851, when Franklin Hughes Delano married Laura Astor, the two received land that was part of the Astor family’s historic Rokeby estate.
The Delanos went on to commission Atalanta, a home that sits on 289 acres in the Hudson River Valley. Originally called Steen Valetje (Dutch for Stone Valley), the home is a six-bedroom Georgian manor, expanded with two additional wings in the late 1880s to create a massive 16,000 square foot home. Carved wood panels, fluted columns, and substantial bannister speak to the craftsmanship of a bygone era. Ceiling moldings and elaborate mantlepieces contribute to a sense of classic elegance. The home made an appearance in the diary of Eleanor Roosevelt who spoke of the home’s charm.
The grand staircase has a painted arts and crafts-motif cove ceiling encasing a dramatic skylight. There is also a mahogany paneled office with ornate ceiling mural and carved fireplace.
The large-scale dining room with gold leaf tracery ceiling and complementing gold leaf walls is designed for formal occasions while a sitting room with a balcony overlooking formal walled gardens offers a place for quiet contemplation.
There is a first-floor staff wing as well as a second floor guest wing. The lower level features a glass enclosed wine cellar and tasting room with capacity for 5,000 bottles for the collector.
The grounds include a Greek Temple-inspired pool house with 75′ pool and adjacent tennis court, as well as a three-bedroom guest house, a very charming three bedroom farm house, a stone gate house, carriage house with storage and two second floor apartments, an adorable 2 bedroom Victorian gardener’s cottage, and commercial grade greenhouse. The equestrian facilities include an eight stall barn with office, full bath, tack room, feed room, heated indoor ring with man-made footing, and an outdoor dressage ring.
The manicured grounds include sweeping irrigated lawns dotted with specimen trees and surrounded by light woodlands. The formal walled gardens include a terraced boxwood garden, a serene koi pond with fountains, complemented by a wisteria covered pergola and bordered by a colorful perennial garden.