There’s something special about owning a home with history. There’s the architectural and design history of the building and the developmental changes its been through over the years, but also the historical fascination of the people who lived and grew up in the building before you. If you love homes with history and fancy owning your own to either live in or have as a holiday or investment property, then here’s a round-up of some stunning luxury international homes on the market today, all with their own special history and unique charm.
Green Gables estate in Woodside, California
It’s not often that country estates like the Green Gables estate in Woodside, California come on the market. The 74-acre estate is for sale for the first time in 100 years and is one of the last remaining turn of the century summer estates in San Francisco. It’s a rare surviving gem, as most other estates in the area have long since been sold to developers or divided up. In fact, it’s located in one of the most coveted positions, right in the heart of Silicon Valley with views over the surrounding Santa Cruz mountains.
Buying this property gem doesn’t just get you one home either – there are seven single-family residences on the estate, along with three swimming pools, a reservoir, barn, tennis court, stables, world-renowned gardens, rights to natural springs and land.
The main house was built in 1911 by architects Greene & Greene (Charles Summer Greene and Henry Mather Greene), who were influential in early 20th century America. The interior was designed by Elsie de Wolfe, first lady of interior design at the time. The property boasts a reflection pool, garden and stunning roman pool the size of a football pitch.
The swimming pools on the estate are believed to be the first free-form swimming pools built in California. The estate has been owned and inhabited by five generations of the Fleishhaker family. One member of the family, Mortimer Fleishhaker, was a successful investment banker and founder of Great Western Power.
The architecture and gardens were designed to reflect Italian, English and American traditions. The Italian traditions are seen in the symmetrical layout of the gardens, whereas the sprawling green lawns were inspired by Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Park in 18th century England.
This amazing estate is available at a guide price over 117,000,000 USD through Golden State Sotheby’s International Realty
Tel: +1 650 485 3476
The Big House, New York
If you like the idea of living in an English manor house, but in the US, then the Big House in New York is worth a look. This 18th century manor house is located close to the Hudson River in Snedens Landing, only 25 minutes from New York City. It’s one of the oldest homes in the country and is on the National Register of Historic Homes.
The beautifully restored property boasts numerous period characteristics, including large ceiling beams, 18th century white pine paneling in the living room, period cabinetry in the dining room and wide board floors. The house itself dates back to 1738, but the kitchen wing, with its old fireplace and garret, pre-dates it to 1685. It was built of local field stone and has amazingly thick 23″ walls.
The property comes with plenty of history, including the claim to fame that George Washington met General Lafayette at the property during the Revolutionary War. Martha Washington also visited the property on another occasion, en route to meet her husband. The land is currently owned by William Merritt, the first mayor of New York.
Available at a guide price of 2,250,000 USD through Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty
Tel: +1 914 393 0438
Miss Lena’s, Harbour Island, Bahamas
This house was built by shipwrights in 1797 in Dunmore Town, Harbour Island, which used to be the capital of the Bahamas. It’s not often a house can claim to have moved location, but in 1828 the house was carefully moved on rollers to its current location on Murray Street. It gets its name from one of its former twentieth century owners, Captain Philosophus Higgs and his wife Lena Saunders. She was known as Miss Lena and was well known by locals, as she had a shop near the house specializing in selling sewing needles, buttons, material and haberdashery accessories.
Since Miss Lena’s days, the house has been expanded to the south to include the original free standing kitchen, fireplace and chimney. The elegant home has a timeless Bahamian and Georgian architectural design, which has been carefully maintained and restored in recent years, and offers spacious living overlooking the historic Dunmore waterfront. Downstairs there’s a spacious living and dining area, opening onto a covered verandah. There are three bedrooms in the property and the master suite on the second floor faces out over the harbour and the island of Eleuthera, plus has access to the upper verandah.
The house has Historic Tax Status, which exempts the property from Real Property Tax. If you’re looking for an investment property with rental potential, the house is already an established holiday rental.
Tel: +1 242 376 9858