This lovely old house stands across the road from ours. The owners were the first people we met when we moved to this area. Unfortunately, they moved elsewhere and the house was sold in 2015.

The 1896 home is actually the gatehouse of the former Macy family estate in Briarcliff Manor, New York. The main Macy house is called Chilmark. Both this building and the main house were designed in the Tudor Revival style. The gatehouse sits beyond the entry gate and is across the street from the former home of the late Brooke Astor: Holly Hill. The right part of the house (as you look at it in this picture) was originally a porte cochère i.e. a covered entrance large enough for vehicles to pass through, typically opening into a courtyard. This was subsequently enclosed and is now a room in the house.

The owner was V. Everit Macy. According to Big Old Houses:

V. Everit Macy (1871-1930)… was what my late father would have called “a helluva nice guy.” He earned a degree in 1893 from Columbia’s School of Architcture, where he studied alongside Chester Aldrich, architect of his future house. Macy himself never practiced professionally. Instead, this amazingly busy and selfless man spent his entire adult life improving the lives of others, mainly in Westchester County. He was commissioner of Charities and Correction, then of Public Welfare, and at the time of his death Commissioner of Parks. Macy also owned the Yonkers Statesman in the north, where he published his progressive opinions, and supported Tuskegee and Hampton Institutes in the south. As Parks Commissioner he was the organizing force behind two of Westchester’s most recognizable features, the Hutchinson and Saw Mill River Parkways. It helped that he was rich, far more so than his collateral relatives, the department store Macys. The money came from the family oil business which, thanks to the efforts of Macy’s father, was rolled into John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil in the 1870s, to the great benefit of the Macy family.

Mrs. Macy, the former Edith Carpenter, gave her husband two sons, ran his households in Manhattan, Briarcliff Manor and Onteora Park, and spent her obligatory charity efforts on the Girl Scouts of America. From 1919 until her death in 1925, she chaired GSA’s Board of Directors. You like Girl Scout cookies? Thank Mrs. Macy; her gift to us all is the annual cookie drive.

The Macys weren’t a long-lived group. Everit Macy’s father died at age 38; he himself succumbed unexpectedly at age 59 to pneumonia, while visiting the Ingleside Inn in Phoenix, AZ. County leaders, Supreme Court justices and lifelong friends like John D. Rockefeller Jr. joined Macy’s sons and their wives for the funeral at Chilmark, the family estate at Briarcliff Manor (or actually Ossining, if you want to split hairs). In 1932 Westchester County named a 200-acre tract in the Town of Greenburgh “V. Everit Macy Park” in his honor. If you live in Westchester and thought that name came from the department store, consider yourself corrected.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

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