Property of the Week: Beautiful Historical Villa in Riverdale, NY


5247 Independence Avenue, located in the leafy part of Riverdale, New York, is also known as the Henry L. Atherton Villa. It’s a grand and historic residence in Riverdale, where beautiful estates and mansions mingle with charming smaller homes and apartments in a green and calm community only 15 minutes from Midtown. 

5247 Independence Avenue/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate

Built in 1853 as one of the first homes in the area, the Atherton Villa’s gothic revival roots are still noticeable in the peaked roof, arched windows, and wood-paneled library, but later colonial revival additions set the tone for a stately and uncluttered grandeur in a distinctively American idiom. 

5247 Independence Avenue/Library/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Library/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate

From the outside, the most striking feature must be the generous veranda overlooking the Hudson River. The center bows outwards like the prow of a ship – a perfect perch from which to enjoy the river views. 

5247 Independence Avenue/Veranda/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Veranda/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Veranda/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Veranda/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate

Indoors, the villa is adorned with tasteful millwork and mouldings that elevate every room in this 20-room home. Nothing is overly ornate or gaudy here, but there’s always enough well-crafted detail to evoke a sense of nobility within an overall atmosphere of ease and prosperity. The trim pairs quite nicely with the hardwood floors, especially the parquetry on the first floor. 

5247 Independence Avenue/Living Room/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Living Room/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Dining Room/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Dining Room/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Dining Room/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Dining Room/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate

Instead of going over-the-top with gloss and gilding in the kitchen and bathrooms, the designers have opted for a wonderful terra cotta floor tile and cottage-inspired cabinetry and accents. These spaces look extraordinarily down-to-earth and welcoming, and they seem to capture the leisurely origins of the Riverdale community as a summer retreat. 

5247 Independence Avenue/Bedroom/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Bedroom/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Bathroom/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/Bathroom/Photo credit: Christie’s International Real Estate

Beyond the bounds of the property itself, the sense of refreshment and ease continues to pervade this quiet and verdant neighborhood. We find the lovely gardens of Wave Hill to the south, as well as Van Cortland Park to the east. Combined, these green spaces are several times the size of Central Park. For those seeking a quality of life that’s more natural than posh or trendy, the Atherton Villa may be the place to look. 

5247 Independence Avenue/GardenPhoto credit: Christie’s International Real Estate
5247 Independence Avenue/GardenPhoto credit: Christie’s International Real Estate

Listing courtesy of Brian and Kate Meier, real estate agents with Christie’s International Real Estate. The property is currently listed for sale for $4.5M.

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