New York Metro Mansions
The area surrounding New York City boasts several architectural jewels built in the beginning of the 20th century that represent the best, old-world inspired, historic homes built on American soil.
“Darlington" nestled on 12.5 acres in Mahwah, New Jersey, framed by the Ramapo Mountains and the Ramapo River, lies just twenty-five miles from New York City. It is regarded as one of the purest examples of Jacobean architecture ever built in the United States. “Darlington” has been listed as a special home in the United States National Register of Historic Places.
After being purchased in 2008, Darlington was completely restored and rebuilt for the 21st century. During a five-year period of the biggest restoration project in the area and with the participation of over 200 artisans, craftsmen, and other professionals, every area of Darlington was addressed and 12,000 square feet of new space was added resulting in a 50,000 square foot home. As such, Darlington is revived as a very unique home for one family or as a private resort to be enjoyed with family and friends as well as used for grand-scale entertaining.
Darlington was originally built as a retreat from the limitations of Manhattan. It was designed as a spacious and refined home and was one of the most modern homes of its time. It was just across the Hudson River but it offered the possibility for entertaining more people or for serene country living; or both.
The goal of the restoration was similar; to create a one-of-a-kind home that offers the highest standards of modern living just 30 minutes from Manhattan in a very private and tranquil setting. To achieve that goal, the original materials and finishes had to be restored while simultaneously connecting Darlington with the 21st century.
When Darlington was built between 1902 and 1907, hundreds of the best workers and best artisans from all over the world were involved. This time, history repeated itself. The team put together for this unique and exciting project was assembled using companies and individuals from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, California, Italy, Brazil, Poland, and Greece. Most of the time, the work site had 50 to 100 people involved simultaneously. They spoke different languages, but shared the understanding that they are all part of the exciting process of creating a masterpiece that will stand out for generations to come.
During the renovation/rebuilding process all mechanical systems of Darlington were replaced, all original finishes were restored, and new areas were built and designed to integrate with the original structure.
To start, 476 new windows were installed to protect the original character of the building but also to provide the latest and highest technology of insulation, energy-savings, and safety. The original slate roof and all other related structures were completely replaced and the air conditioning and heating systems were updated. Nineteen new bathrooms and seven new powder rooms were built. All plumbing was replaced with new pipes and new fixtures. The sewer system was also replaced with a new one. High speed internet and other intelligent-home applications were added.
As a part of the new 12,000 square feet, there is a state-of-the-art wine room with a connected wine cellar, poker room, cigar room with humidors, spa with a lap pool and attached steam and dry saunas, exercise room, massage room, and beauty salon. Other additions to the original mansion are a new theatre room, a billiard room, and a restaurant-style kitchen equipped to serve 250 meals at a time.
Through the restoration and rebuilding process, only the best materials were used. More than 200 slabs of onyx, marble, and granite were installed, premium plumbing fixtures including Lalique faucets were used, and new floors were laid of flamed onyx, walnut wood inlays, and exotic marbles.
Most of the new furniture and finishes on the main floor are designed and custom-made by Francesco Molon, the Italian furniture manufacturer whose work includes furnishing presidential palaces in Europe and distinguished hotels throughout the world, including the Ritz Carlton in New York and The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. The original ornamental wall and ceiling carvings of Darlington were captured by the artisans of Francesco Molon and incorporated into their furniture designs.
Darlington is also home to one of the few remaining Aeolian player organs. The 100-year old organ has been completely restored and is fully operational.
The revival of Darlington didn’t stop on just its interior. To the landscape of Darlington, between rare and precious plantings, a new professional tennis court with its own cabana, a large swimming pool also with a cabana, and two fountains were added. A new eight-car garage was built and the gatehouse was renovated including state-of-the-art security equipment.
The challenging part of the project was how to seamlessly integrate two centuries; protecting and preserving the original architecture and precious finishes while adding the necessary amenities and technologies of a modern high-end home. A walk through Darlington confirms that the five-year revival definitely overcame this challenge. Room after room, floor after floor, the beautiful, more than one-hundred year old woodwork, carvings, and finishes are restored and perfectly blend with the new design, new materials, and technological advances added during the last five years.
Upon the completion of Darlington in 1907, newspapers noted that it was one of the most distinguished homes in the U.S. We can confirm that this holds true today. Darlington is definitely reborn.