Irvington-on-Hudson, Westchester County, New York

Built in 1852, for Francis Cottenet (1795-1884) and his wife Frances Caroline Laight (1803-1870). It was built for a Frenchman and designed by a Frenchman, Detlef Lienau (1818-1887), who insisted that it be built with French Caen-stone in order to make it authentic. After Cottenet died, it was briefly home to Cyrus West Field (1819-1892), a co-founder of the Atlantic Telegraph Company that laid the first ocean-crossing telegraph cable. But, Field immediately ran into financial difficulties and after just one year sold up to a man with no financial concerns, the recently widowed John Jacob Astor III. He spent $100,000 improving the property but died only a few years later.... 

This house is best associated with...

Francis Cottenet

French Importer, of New York City & "Nuits" Irvington, N.Y.


Frances (Laight) Cottenet

Mrs “Fanny” Frances Caroline (Laight) Cottenet


John Jacob Astor III

John Jacob Astor III, of New York City & Newport, Rhode Island


Amzi Lorenzo Barber

Amzi Lorenzo Barber, "The Asphalt King" of New York


Astor's heirs sold the house and grounds to Manhattan College but due to a stipulation laid down by Cyrus Field they were not able not convert the building for institutional use. It was then acquired by the ominous-sounding "Asphalt King" of New York, Amzi Lorenzo Barber (1843-1909), who sold off much of the land which then became Ardsley-on-Hudson. "Nuits" was extensively renovated in 2015 and remains a private home. 


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 26/08/2019 and last updated on 01/05/2021.


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