For at least the last 150 years, the rolling, wooded hills of New York State’s scenic Westchester County have attracted American aristocrats and other financial fat cats looking for a bucolic escape from the hurly-burly of Manhattan. Rockefellers and van Cortlandts built palatial country estates, and some of the area’s current crop of upper-crust homeowners include Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Georgina Chapman, and Richard Gere. Billionaire financier George Soros keeps a lavish spread in the area and Bill and Hillary Clinton moved to low-key Chappaqua after they left the White House in 2001, while the Trump family presides over a historic 230-acre estate in tony Bedford known as Seven Springs.
One of the posh and picturesquely pastoral area’s newest residents is fashion world royal Alexander Wang who’s recently shelled out $1.85 million — a good chunk over the $1.75 million asking price — for a carefully preserved and updated midcentury pavilion in the affluent hamlet of Katonah. Completed in 1960 and reported to have been designed by a couple of unnamed Bauhaus-trained architects, the low-slung contemporary pavilion sits on almost five acres of rolling meadows surrounded by pristine woodlands.
With stark white walls warmed by honey-toned hardwood floors, the wood-accented stucco and glass residence is composed of three distinct wings divided by two stone-paved courtyards. A wall of windows in the living room frames a painterly view of the surrounding trees, and the not-especially spacious but cutting-edge kitchen is open to a roomy and sun-filled combination dining area and family room. Two guest bedrooms face the front of the house, where a long driveway is bordered by a rustic stacked stone wall, while the primary bedroom tumbles out through a wall of windows to a slender balcony with serenely leafy view.
Near the gated entrance atop a two-car garage, a detached office, art studio or guesthouse sports concrete floors painted dark grey and polished to a light-reflecting luster. There’s a small bathroom and a huge wall of windows fills the sleek all-white eat-in kitchen with light. The house is snugly burrowed in to the sloped terrain where overlooks a great sweep of lawn, while a tear drop-shaped swimming pool is discreetly placed off to one side surrounded by lush plantings and, somewhat unexpectedly, a classic picket fence.
The property was listed with Angela Kessel at Houlihan Lawrence; Wang was represented in the transaction by Kim Morris of Ginnel Real Estate.
Briefly Creative Director at the venerable French fashion house Balenciaga, now head of his own eponymous brand (and famous among fashion’s beau monde for throwing fantastic, much-buzzed-about Fashion Week parties), the San Francisco-born sartorial superstar lives primarily in New York City where in the fall of 2016 he shelled out almost $8 million for a nearly 2,800-square-foot condo in a snazzy, starchitect-designed building alongside the Hudson River in the fashionable and artsy West Chelsea neighborhood. The two-bedroom and three-bath spread, featured a few years ago in Architectural Digest, has 11-foot ceilings, vast expanses of floor-to-ceiling windows — some with up-close views of a solid brick wall, fastidiously tailored millwork and a 600-square-foot terrace with an oblique river view.