Glenmere mansion

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Glenmere Mansion
General information
Architectural style Tuscan
Location 634 Pine Hill Road, Chester, NY
Completed 1911
Client Robert Goelet II
Design and construction
Architect Carrère and Hastings
Beatrix Jones Farrand

The Glenmere mansion, overlooking Glenmere Lake, approximately 50 miles northwest of New York City in Orange County, New York, was built by New York City real estate developer Robert Wilson Goelet (not to be confused with his first cousin Robert Walton Goelet) in 1911, on the grounds of his sprawling estate in Sugar Loaf, a hamlet of the town of Chester, New York.[1]


Goelet commissioned the architects Carrère and Hastings to design a country villa in 1911; it was designed in a Tuscan style because Goelet's wife, the former Miss Elsie Whelen of Philadelphia, had always wanted to live in an Italian villa. The house features a central courtyard with an Italian marble fountain, and ochre-colored stucco walls. Beatrix Jones Farrand was hired to landscape the grounds, and Samuel Yellin did the ironwork for the house.[2] In addition to their horses, Goelet and his wife were breeders of Highland Terriers and Great Danes and maintained extensive kennels. Soon the estate and its storied hunting grounds became a regular haunt of Babe Ruth, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

The wall pools of Glenmere mansion's southern garden, circa 1920.

Goelet hosted numerous sporting-set events at the estate, including equine ice-racing.[3] The younger of Goelet's two sons, Peter, began radio station WGNY on the grounds of the mansion in 1930.

Glenmere mansion was sold to Abraham Prusoff during World War II; Prusoff transformed the private mansion into a resort hotel with upscale amenities including a golf course, ski run, and tennis courts.[4] By the 1960s, Prusoff found it increasingly difficult to keep the resort's finances in order; in the next decade, the mansion and estate were seized by Orange County as a tax lien. In 1985 the mansion and estate were purchased at a tax auction by real estate magnate Rickey Mandel.

Current use[edit]

The mansion changed hands again in 2007, becoming a luxury 19-room hotel, restaurant, and spa, after undergoing an extensive and costly renovation. In 2008, the restoration project was temporarily halted over concern for the endangered Northern cricket frog.[5] In 2010, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation again halted the construction when it became apparent that the developers were operating without the required permits and endangering the Cricket frog and plant life in the area.[6] The mansion's developers were fined and cited by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation for violations of having improper paperwork with regard to the impact of construction on the endangered Northern cricket frog. Studies found no frog habitats on the property, and the property was made into a luxury bed and breakfast whose amenities include a luxury penthouse costing $3,400 a night.[7]


  1. ^ Tully, Andrew (1947). Era of Elegance. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. pp. 66-73.
  2. ^ Ossman, Laurie and Heather Ewing (2011). Carrère and Hastings: The Masterworks. New York: Rizzoli.
  3. ^ "Racing on snow and ice", New York Times Dec. 31 1914
  4. ^ "Chester's slippery past", The Chronicle, November 30, 2007
  5. ^ King, Matt (2008-06-29). "Cricket frog halts development". The Times Herald-Record. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  6. ^ Sullivan, John (2010-01-08). "Fines, stop work order issued for Glenmere mansion". The Times Herald-Record. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  7. ^ Sullivan, John (2010-02-07). "Chester mansion restored to glory". The Times Herald-Record. Retrieved 2012-12-23. 

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