16 September, 2009

Here's to Another Great Designers' Showcase

La Selva - Upper Brookville, Long Island; October 3 thru November 15th. This showcase promises to be very exciting as over 35 designers take to La Selva; a forty (40) room private mansion not open to the public on a regular basis. This home is set on its original 24 acres, which were landscaped by the Olmstead Bros. firm and was originally intended to serve as a family 'country home.' It has amazing architectural features, to say the least, and the fact that it still sits on its original land without having been subdivided makes it all the worth while to visit.
La Selva is a 1915 Italian Renaissance-style mansion of 15,000 square feet with a domed three-story rotunda, a loggia, a winding staircase, a library, two dining rooms, seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms. There is also a three-bedroom cottage and a walled carriage house with six bedrooms, a workshop and a heated garage or space for five stables on the grounds.
It has passed through several owners since being built and was once used by the Roman Catholic Church as the St. Francis Retreat House, as well as having the distinction of being the former home of Computer Associates CEO Sanjay Kumar who was found guilty of and jailed in 2007 for securities fraud and ordered to repay $798 million dollars in restitution to shareholders.
As always, this Mansions & Millionaires® showcase benefits an organization, and in this case, it is The Mentoring Partnership of Long Island.
La Selva is located at 187 Oyster Bay Road, Mill Neck, Long Island. Tickets are $30 at the door. For more info. call 1.516.624.2300. The home is also listed for sale by Daniel Gale/Sotheby's.

Update 11/5/09: Well, I've now been twice to visit La Selva, translation; the woods; and how truly amazing, shall I say glorious this place is!!!! My first visit was for pure pleasure, my second visit for studying all those intricacies I missed the first time in my absolute awe. Not only were the designer rooms of such a quality and consistency that I've never seen before in a show house, but the home and the grounds themselves were so amazing, I cannot describe them to you other than to say, if you cannot get here before the 15th of November, you are missing out on something so special. Walk the grounds if you can on a beautiful Fall day, and pay attention to the small details of the home, such as the lighting that the architect had the foresight to install in the dining hall, the built-in scales in the bathrooms and the heating grates in the ballroom! Some of the garden artifacts are reported to be from the first century AD.  Hopefully, Sotheby's will be able to sell the home and grounds to someone who will keep them intact and gently restore La Selva to its previous and existing glory.  I've attached a few of the pictures that I captured on my Blackberry, so I apologize for the blurriness and not so great quality.  But, they are still so great to look at and enjoy! 

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