A tea house once owned by America’s Wealthiest Family Is Being Sold for $7 million.

The ultra-wealthy Astor family considered their Rhinebeck, New York, tea house to be a silly, frivolous edifice that they had commissioned for amusement. It was a spot where patriarch Vincent Astor could sneak away for tea, or something stronger, with guests. It was connected to the main house with a small railway.

After the Astor estate in Rhinebeck was divided and sold 65 years after it was constructed, Robert Duffy, a co-founder of Marc Jacobs, paid $2.31 million for the tea house and the surrounding 44 acres. He gave it a makeover and transformed it into a lavish six-bedroom family house in the Hudson Valley of New York.

The 5,000 square foot home is currently being sold by him for $7 million.

Duffy, who resided in a neighbouring weekend home in the 1980s, talked about how he first came onto the abandoned teahouse in an interview with Elle Decor. The main chamber of the structure was originally octagonal in form, with two brick wings on either side and arched doors. Duffy would visit the teahouse with his pals at the time to “hang out and have fun.”

An elderly couple purchased the teahouse in the early 2000s and made expansions with the intention of someday living in. However, they gave up on the project in the middle, and it remained unoccupied for seven years before Duffy purchased it in 2013.

“When I touched one, my fingers sank into it,” Duffy said to Elle Décor.

His designer, Richard McGeehan, located historic cast-iron pillars in London, which he installed in place of the squishy original columns. Together, they renovated the inside to satisfy Duffy’s inflexible aesthetic. The house’s original octagonal tea room was converted into the living room, which Duffy furnished with vintage Persian carpets, gilt-framed paintings of artist Charles Webster Hawthorne from 1910, a Moroccan armoire, and an English secretary’s desk with lacquer finish.

The master bedroom, master bathroom, dressing room, two other bedrooms, and the library are located in the north wing of the home, while the two bedrooms, full bathroom, kitchen, dining area, and office are located in the south wing.

With stainless steel appliances, a white subway tile backsplash, and a chef’s island, the kitchen is crisp and white. The wallpaper in the formal dining room was painted by hand.

A guest barn, treehouse, maintenance barn, and a 65-foot-long saltwater pool with pool pavilion may be found elsewhere.

The Astors were once the wealthiest family in America. The founder of the family, German immigrant John Jacob Astor, established an empire in real estate and fur trade in the early 1800s.

Vincent, the great-great-great grandson of Astor, constructed the tea house at Ferncliff, the family’s 2,800-acre estate near Rhinebeck, four generations later. At the age of 20, he became the last living patriarch of his family after his father perished on the Titanic. He inherited the majority of the family’s riches.

Ferncliff was divided and sold by his widow when he passed away in 1959 and left his assets to the Vincent Astor Foundation.

Not only has Duffy purchased real estate on the historic Astor estate, but photographer Annie Leibovitz and former Google chairman Eric Schmidt also own homes there. Chelsea Clinton got married at Astor Courts, Schmidt’s estate, in 2010.

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