Known as Petre Island, the island has three properties, two of which were designed by Wright, America’s most iconic architect — a 1950s guest house and a 4-bedroom main residence looking over Lake Mahopac. In 1949, engineer Ahmed Chahroudi bought the island and convinced Wright to design a home on the land. According to earlier reporting by Curbed, Wright had drawn up plans for a 5,000-square-foot main home but, after Chahroudi ran out of money, made a small cottage instead.
The second home, meanwhile, was built for later owner John Massaro who got an architect and Wright scholar to create a house based on Wright’s original sketches. Because the building was not built by Wright himself, it is not officially recognized by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
Still, the island is a beautiful buy — the two homes stand side by side and overlook the lake. The main house shows clear signs of Wright’s signature style of blending architecture with the surrounding environment — the wraparound windows and latticed skylights bring in lots of natural light while the cantilevers allow parts of the house to jut out into the water.
“Not only is the home’s design and architecture inspired by its surroundings, but it is built within the land,” Margaret Harrington, the Douglas Elliman agent tasked with selling the home, told Inman.”The intent is to fully immerse yourself and enjoy the lush environment.”
The property also comes with a tea house, a private beach, a dock and a helipad for private helicopters for those for whom money is no object. Harrington said that, so far, interest has been pretty strong – prospective buyers have visited the property by boat and helicopter. She advises agents who work with selling islands and other historic properties to familiarize themselves with the history of the place rather than its architectural elements alone.
“Agents must fully understand and study both the architect’s life and work, beyond the single property, to ensure translating its intent and integrity properly,” she said. “Become an expert in the field and align yourself with the right buyers who might purchase a home like this.”
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