Despite its prestigious zip code, pristine beauty and total privacy, baritone-voiced veteran journalist and retired primetime anchorman Tom Brokaw will take a loss on the sale of a pastoral retreat in posh Pound Ridge, N.Y., that is now in contract with an asking price of $4.25 million, reportedly the exact same amount he paid for the property about 20 years ago. About 50 miles north of Midtown Manhattan, the sylvan compound first came for sale just over a year ago at $6.3 million. However, reports from the time indicate that price included two undeveloped parcels of about 10 acres apiece that brought the total size of the property to roughly 57 acres. In late 2018 the property was taken off the market, a new real estate agent was brought aboard — Angela Kessel of Houlihan Lawrence — and the bulk of the estate, about 36 acres, was re-listed at $4.25 million. It’s not clear if the buyer of the compound is also in contract to acquire one or both of the additional lakeside parcels that, as noted by the property gossips at the Post, are already approved for residential building.
Sinuously curved low fieldstone walls and simple driveway gates make a discreet and fetching entrance to the country estate that is approached along a graveled drive that makes a scenic wind through the woods and over a postcard perfect arched stone bridge as it approaches the trio of structures that comprise the photogenic rustic-luxe compound. Carefully positioned to optimize serene, through the trees views of the property’s gorgeously placid five-acre lake, the partly cedar-shingled Craftsman-inspired main house measures in at a comfortable but hardly humongous 4,200 square feet. Between the main house and ancillary structures there are five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms.
Sophisticated yet laid-back and cozy interior spaces make generous use of an earthy palette and natural materials that bring the outdoors inside. A cavernous living room has 18-foot-high wood-paneled cathedral ceilings and a giant stone fireplace that rises between a pair of thick cushioned window seats. Three sets of French doors open the room to a screened porch and the lustrous, dark-stained wide-plank pine floorboards extend into a not especially big but smartly arranged high-end kitchen and the adjoining dining area that’s nestled into a window-lined bay under a twig chandelier hung from muscular, hand-hewn exposed wood ceiling beams.
Outbuildings are a short stroll from the main house across vast lawns that slope gently toward the lake. A barn-style three-car garage includes a guesthouse or caretaker apartment with fireplace and an also barn-like poolside entertainment pavilion doubles as a guest cottage with lofted bedroom and bathroom. Below the swimming pool, a small dock juts out into the lake for swimming and boating.
For nearly 30 years the Brokaws owned and spent much of the summer months at West Boulder Ranch, a 4,100+ acre ranch at the base of the Absaroka Mountains not too far from Livingston in south central Montana, which was sold last year after being on the market at $17.9 million. The couple’s thinning portfolio, however, still includes a couple of plum properties. Tax records indicate that just over two years ago, Mrs. Brokaw plunked down close to $1.6 million for a three-bedroom plantation-style residence that overlooks a shallow lagoon in a private enclave on southwest Florida’s Gasparilla Island. Back in Manhattan, where the Brokaws once owned a sprawling Park Avenue duplex that was sold in 2011 for $10 million, they maintain a not particularly large co-operative unit on a high floor of a discreetly swank full-service boutique building on a heavily-trafficked thoroughfare just off Park Avenue. At the time it was acquired in 2011 for $1.95 million, it was configured with just one bedroom and 2.5 bathrooms plus a small study or office.