Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York
Completed in 1904, for John Jacob Astor IV (1864-1912), who soon afterwards lost his life on board the Titanic. Covering 40,000 square feet, it was designed by Stanford White (1853-1906), inspired by the Grand Trianon at Versailles. Chelsea Clinton was married here in 2010, having held the rehearsal at Grasmere....
Records of the architectural firm show that the building cost $238,126. Some believe that Astor Courts was the first residency to have an indoor swimming pool. The building included an indoor tennis court, squash court, bowling alley and indoor heated swimming pool, resplendent with arched windows and marble columns. The squash court has now been converted to a library. The tennis court is enclosed under a high, well-lighted vault of Gaustavino tile. Purchased in 2003 for over $3 million, Astor Courts is now owned by real estate developer Arthur Seelbinder and his wife, Democratic fundraiser and former TV producer Kathleen Hammer.
Astor Courts is divided into three wings: public, private, and guest. The private quarters in the east wing features the master suite, library, and the Middle Eastern inspired indoor swimming pool with a bright turquoise vaulted ceiling, white marble walls, Corinthian columns and arched windows that display the pastoral grounds of the house.
The west wing has 4 guest bedrooms and two shared bathrooms decorated in white marble. The living area is adorned with restored faux bois molding and oak wainscoting. Right off of the living room, a terrazzo-floored balcony overlooks the Hudson River just 100-ft away.
The main hall, connected by the east and west wings, measures 35 x 60-ft with French doors on each wall. A shallow domed skylight, towering Ionic columns, a herringbone parquet floor, and elaborate plasterwork are just a few decorative features.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 13/02/2019 and last updated on 28/05/2020.
Compiled courtesy of Hannah Rohaley, for HouseHistree.
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