(photos by Seakng Kwon)

This gorgeous estate, dubbed the Villa Maria Estate, is located at 615 Montauk Highway in Water Mill, NY and is situated on 15 waterfront acres. Built as a private residence in 1887, the  illa itself was extensively remodelled by Brooklyn-based architect Frank Freeman in 1919. It later became a convent and spirituality center, before recently becoming a private residence once again. The building is considered a Long Island Landmak. It was bought by Nine West shoe manufacturer founder Vincent Camuto and his wife Louise for $35 million in October of 2005. They had Andre Tchelistcheff Architects remodel the home.

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From Wikipedia.com:

Villa Maria is an eclectic-style building, incorporating elements of Beaux-Arts, Neoclassical and Colonial Revival design that sits on nearly 15 acres of land. It has been described as having “an arresting asymmetrical facade and complex roof lines breaking out into a profusion of windows and dormers”. The main entrance is dominated by a grand Colonial-style portico, supported on four tall columns which rise to the height of the second floor. The walls are finished in stucco that looks like limestone.

The interior features a “huge” rotunda, rising to a dome-capped ceiling. The 27,000 square footbuilding includes 9 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, a ballroom and institutional kitchen. The ballroom is now a grand living room. The original teak floor from the first renovation in 1905 is still in the living room. Its wide beams are connected by bow tie construction so the entire floor is held together without a nail. The floor was taken from one of the ships in Edward In addition to the main building, the estate also includes three cottages. The estate, which is set between Mill Creek and Mecox Bay, includes 1,100 feet (340 m) of waterfront. The villa in its entirety has been described as a “stunning sight” and is said to be “perhaps Water Mill’s best-known landmark.”

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  • A.K

    Simply beautiful!




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  • Daniel

    Eh. The exterior would have been nice without the silly non-matching porticoes. The interior looks promising. Not crazy about the black/white color scheme, but with the right furnishings and a dash of color it could be great. $35 million, huh? Pricey.




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  • Chris

    Beautiful and historic! Can’t complain.




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  • Grrrowler

    It’s missing all the character and patina that I would expect, and want, from a 125 year-old house. Normally when I see a grand estate from the 1800s I get excited, but this has left me nonplussed. The exterior is OK, but it doesn’t look much different than a modern mega-mansion. The exterior doesn’t feel special, or give me any sense of history. The interior looks like it has some interesting original elements still intact, but not many. For the most part it also looks like a newly-built mansion one would find in Greenwich. All this said, I don’t dislike it and I think there are some really nice spaces. It just seems like too much was lost in the renovation.




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  • LE

    here is a wikipedia link…i’m sure if you did a little investigative work one could easily find older photos of the estate. It used to go by the name of “Red Gables” based on the color of the red roof.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Maria_(Long_Island)

    As for the house itself…I think it’s stunning. I often see photos of an estate for sale either on this website or realty website like Sotheby’s and most times they don’t look nearly as impressive on a computer screen as they do in real life. Seeing that’s it’s so close to Montauk Hwy (which is really a shame) I might need to sneak around and see if it looks different than it appaears in these photos.




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  • snarfler

    there is so much gaudy junk out there, that this just exudes class. refreshingly understated. i would be curious to see if the original house had more color. the images where it looks queen ann imply that it would have had alot more fuss and would have been polychromatic. but the later images where it’s closer to today’s look imply that the current iteration is not that far off. sort of an edwardian neo-classical look, which is far more monochromatic/understated…




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  • marc22

    Beautiful. A lucky home to have found a buyer willing to undertake the project and restore and update a home of this size. The outcome for older homes of this era is not always so positive.

    Job well done by all involved.




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  • rob

    Definitely has that gilded age feel. Two strange things about it: It looks like that highway is awfully close and it looks like the water it is in front of is a bay that has been blocked off from the ocean. I wonder if it is stagnant. It is a beautiful home but it may have seen its day. The gatehouse is charming and looks like a classic New England farmhouse. I really would have to walk the property to get a real feel for this place. If they would like to invite me over for the weekend, I would feel more informed.




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  • ted

    i like the garage doors. the interior is ok.




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  • AB

    I’m interested in renting this home for an event…..does anyone know who to contact regarding this?




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  • DMR

    I absolutely love this home. I didn’t know of its history til recently and that makes me fall in love with it even more. I’ve passed it a few times and every time I’m in awe of its beauty.




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  • JG

    Does anyone know how to get in contact with someone there to rent the space??




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  • Maureen

    I was one of the youg girls who studied at the Villa when it was a high school – a preparatory school for young women who desired to enter the convent. We had about 50 teenagers when I was there. We kept the house VERY clean – the “ballroom” was covered with rugs so as to protect the floors. However, once a year these rugs were taken up and the floors would be polished to keep them from drying out (I guess). Also once a year the huge chandelier was lowered to the main hall and the crystal pieces were polished. Of course there was no swimming pool in those days but on Saturdays there was a group assigned to “work on the grounds” under the direction of one of the Sisters. As for the beautiful staircase, one of my jobs was to polish the stairs and the beautiful wooden bannister that has now been replaced with the wrough iron one. Looking back we had a lot of fun.




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