Scarsdale Artistic Haven for $749K, Christina Griffin Architect Wins AIA Award, and Crafts at Purchase

House of the Week: Scarsdale Artistic Haven


Annual property taxes: $24,186

50 Sprain Valley Rd, Scarsdale

Set on one lush acre, this four-bedroom contemporary was custom built in 1956 by its artistic homeowners Sonia Astor (a local artist who has exhibited in museums and galleries across the country) and the late Gerald Astor (author, journalist, and World War II veteran who, in addition to writing noted books about World War II, also worked as an editor for Sports Illustrated, Sport, Look, The Saturday Evening Post, and Time magazines). Listing agent Cathy Patapis describes the property as “a natural creative paradise that the homeowners designed for themselves. It's a special retreat in an immensely beautiful and natural setting that’s both restful and invigorating—where home, work, and play can blissfully converge. Not only does the interior carry its own creative energy, but its Mad Men-style layout offers so many flexible options with useful, practical spaces. For example, the kitchen and living room both open to rear slate patios ideal for entertaining, and, depending on a family’s needs, the lower level with a fourth bedroom, full bath, family room, and a separate private walkout, can function equally well as an au pair or in-law suite, or continue Gerald Astor’s use as a home office.”  Highlights of the home’s creative and thoughtful interior design include high ceilings, unique angles, walls of windows, and an open floor plan specifically designed to bring the outdoors in. The property also features an artist studio that’s connected to the main house by a deck and remains an ideal work at-home space, along with tranquil, secluded grounds that include meditation and rock gardens, and in-ground pool. Though a mere 32-minute train ride to Grand Central Terminal, it requires a short drive to either the Scarsdale or Hartsdale Metro-North station. For more information, contact Coldwell Banker listing agent Cathy Patapis at (914) 329-6936 or visit [].   


Christina Griffin Architect Recognized for Green Transformation of White Plains Ranch

Photo by Josefa Mulaire & Suzanne Levine

If you’ve been following the green transformation of 64 Holbrooke Rd—Keller Williams Realty eco-broker Gerry Angel’s 1953 White Plains raised ranch—you’ll be happy to hear the latest news. Not only did the project (covered extensively in this space) result in 1,000 square feet of additional space, a more open floor plan that brings nature in, and a host of green features including energy-saving spray foam insulation, geothermal heating and cooling in place of oil heating, custom energy-efficient windows, solar panels, LED lighting, water-saving fixtures, and sustainable landscaping, but its extraordinary design by Christina Griffin Architect has just won a 2012 Design Award from the American Institute of Architects Westchester Hudson Valley in the Residential-Single Family category. The award-winning home also has the distinction of being a model of sustainable living as the first LEED for Homes certified project in White Plains. No one could be more thrilled than Christina Griffin, who shared her thoughts: “I’m delighted that this project is being recognized since it sets an example of sustainability for the community. Both our firm and our client are passionately committed to promoting environmentally friendly design. It was a learning process that raised the bar with regard to our ability to reach higher standards in Energy Star and LEED ratings.” Griffin will be among the architects honored at a special awards presentation on Wednesday, October 24, at the Manhattanville College Richard A. Berman Student Center.


Crafts at Purchase Benefits Performing Arts Center

Photo courtesy of Artrider Productions

Not only is Crafts at Purchase is the perfect opportunity to acquire one-of-a-kind functional and decorative art, but it’s also a rare chance to meet 100 visionary jury-selected artists, while helping raise needed funds for The Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase. The fine craft show that runs on Friday, November 2 (from 3 pm to 8 pm), Saturday, November 3 (from 10 am to 6 pm), and Sunday, November 4 (from 11 am to 5 pm) in The Performing Arts Center (735 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase) promises a wide array of selections, including dramatic glass works, exotic woodwork, luxurious leather pieces, stunning ceramics, even wearable art. Formerly known as Crafts on Stage, the annual event has been expanded, enlarged, and redesigned under its new organizers—Artrider Productions. General admission is $10 ($9 for seniors; children ages 15 and under are free) and includes free parking. Visit for more information, including a discount coupon and list of exhibiting artists, or call (845) 331-7900.


Reminder: Furniture Sharehouse “Comforts of Home” Annual Benefit

Image courtesy of Furniture Sharehouse

Don’t forget…Furniture Sharehouse’s fun and full-hearted “Furnish a Family with Comforts of Home” fundraiser (at $150 per guest) is set for Friday, October 26, from 6:30 pm to 9 pm, at the historic Larchmont Yacht Club (1 Woodbine Ave). Once again the annual event promises a host of highlights, including cocktails and comfort food, silent and live auctions, and unique designer vignettes using furniture items from the organization’s Westchester County Airport warehouse and staged by prominent area designers. Furniture Sharehouse, Westchester’s furniture bank, provides gently used furniture, free of charge, directly to Westchester families in need, helping them rebuild their lives. For more information and tickets, visit or e-mail


We welcome information about fascinating homes on the market or real estate/home-related news and events—send to Karen Odom at

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About This Blog

White Plains resident and writer Karen Odom has a passion for interesting architecture, especially when architecture and history collide. Her extensive experience as a real estate feature writer has led her in an around Westchester's distinctive homes uncovering the fascinating stories behind the houses, their owners, architects, and designers with awe, admiration, and more than just a little amazing curiosity.

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