Clear vision and imagination. Scrupulous attention to detail. Infinite passion and patience. All came into play to give glorious rebirth to this historic 15-acre estate dating to Bernardsville's celebrated past as a summer colony for Wall Street financiers, giants of industry, and other makers of wealth in a newly industrializing America. This magnificent estate was originally the summer mansion of Robert Livingston Stevens, whose family was instrumental in the development of steam-powered boats & locomotives and founded Stevens Institute of Technology. Today it is far more. Through the collaboration of the present owner and his acclaimed architect Jeffrey Beer, it is a masterwork of the highest order: a European-style estate that bridges the centuries, taking inspiration from the past to craft an unparalleled present. To accomplish the transformation, original sections were re-thought and renewed, extraneous areas removed, and an entire new wing seamlessly melded. Added were a grand main kitchen along with a "hobby" kitchen, a breakfast room overlooking the terrace and pool, and a breathtaking family room that, while new, appears transported from another age. For a touch of whimsy, the entertainment level replicates a Parisian street scene, from a charming courtyard and quaint shops along a cobblestone lane to a plush home theater complete with lobby, café, and candy counter. A billiard room adjoins the media and game room with its own full service kitchen and pool side café. Throughout, handcrafted details and materials gathered from around the globe complement original features restored to perfection. Both the stone-walled conservatory and the authentic fireside pub have Jerusalem marble and wood floors. The conservatory's original floor-to-ceiling windows leading to the formal gardens and gazebo were reconstructed with thermopane glass. The visually arresting living room showcases all original materials. The crowning glory of the dramatic master bedchamber is a high domed ceiling of oak tongue and groove. Indulgent his and her baths and sitting room accompany. From the traditional "gentleman's study" draped in very rare wood paneling reclaimed from period buildings, to the delightful "rose gallery," adorned in applied trailing roses from walls to ceiling, the many fascinating details enchant the eye. Completing this tour de force are the 15-acre grounds, now awakened to their full majesty. Stately formal gardens lend their exquisite symmetry, a reflecting pool with ornamental water plants invites quiet contemplation, and a classical swimming pool pavilion with center fountain and cherub fountains recalls the legendary gardened estates of 18th-century France. Whether strolling through the various gardens or just gazing out the expansive banks of windows to admire a favorite vignette, the views are beyond compare. While the world around it may have changed, this landmark Bernardsville estate once again offers a magnificent country respite for those at the pinnacle of success. To add that it is like nothing else on the market today seems superfluous.
Much of Northern New Jersey is considered part of the Greater New York City metropolitan area. Jerseyans, however, never struggle with identity crises. Nor do they need to cross state lines to experience cultural activities, the arts, hometown pro sports--or their beloved 24-hour diners. Read more about luxury homes in New Jersey