Private island with two Frank Lloyd Wright homes for sale in Putnam County

Judith Zeng

Frank Lloyd Wright. The award-winning architect, famous for cantilevered houses like “Fallingwater” in Pennsylvania, designed more than 1,000 homes and buildings across the country. Now, two of his homes that are located here in the Hudson Valley are for sale.

Set on a private 10-acre island in the middle of Lake Mahopac in Putnam County are a 1950s cottage designed by Wright and a main house that was built based on Wright’s drawings. The pair of homes and island, located at 1 Petre Island in Carmel, are listed by Douglas Elliman for just under $10 million.

“It’s really for the collector,” said Margaret Harrington, licensed associate real estate broker from Douglas Elliman, of the listing. “It’s for someone looking for something extremely unique that has the appreciation for this style of architecture and cares for the preservation of the design.”

Known as the Massaro House and the A. K. Chahroudi Cottage, the homes are the only pieces of Wright-designed architecture located in the Hudson Valley region. Most people associate the Midwest with Wright, who famously developed the uniquely American “Prairie Style” of architecture in the Chicago area, Wisconsin and beyond. Wright’s own winter estate, Taliesin West, in Scottsdale, Arizona, is another well-known work. Buffalo also is home to a handful of Wright designs as well.

The Petre Island main house, named after owners Joseph and Barbara Massaro, was the subject of some controversy in the architecture world because it was built after Wright’s death in 1959 and without the involvement of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The 5,000 square foot house, designed by Wright 10 years prior to his passing, was built in the early 2000s by architect Thomas A. Heinz.

Today, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will only recognize the Massaro House as being inspired by Wright and says it is not an official Frank Lloyd Wright creation.

Margaret Harrington blames the lack of recognition upon a legal dispute that could potentially be resolved by a new owner, since the Massaro House was “100 percent true to Frank Lloyd Wright because [Massaro had] the original plans and … built it exactly according to the plans,” she said.

The home, which is built around a natural rock formation that figures prominently in the home, features an outdoor seating area perched above the lake. Wright believed in designing in harmony with humanity and the environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. Inside, the home boasts classic Wright design elements, including skylights, long window-lined rooms and corridors, built-in furniture, and the strong presence of wood and stone throughout.

The 1,200-square foot cottage, named after the original owner Ahmed Chahroudi, was designed by Wright in 1951. Together, the homes feature six bedrooms and three and a half baths.

The property is surrounded by a 593-acre lake and is reachable via a five-minute boat ride from the mainland, or by helicopter — there is a helipad on-site. The property is a one-hour drive from Manhattan or a 15-minute helicopter ride.

“You’re surrounded by the lake and every different part of the house has a very different view,” said Harrington. “Whether you’re facing west and getting a full sunset or you’re on the east side during sunrise, it’s incredible.”

The forest on the island has been there for hundreds of years. “It’s incredibly peaceful,” said Harrington.

According to OneKey multiple listing service, the property was listed by Douglas Elliman in 2018 for $12.9 million, and Harrington toured the property with Architectural Digest for its YouTube channel. In early 2020, the price was lowered to $9,950,000.

Here’s a look inside.

It’s five minutes by boat from the mainland in Carmel. 

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Visitors will be greeted by geometric skylights and exposed rock in the entry hall.

Visitors will be greeted by geometric skylights and exposed rock in the entry hall.

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

The main home's cantilevered section extends 28 feet over the lake.

The main home’s cantilevered section extends 28 feet over the lake.

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

A patio with an outdoor fireplace juts out over the lake. 

A patio with an outdoor fireplace juts out over the lake. 

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

The home features exposed rock throughout, a feature of Wright's architecture style. Here in the kitchen it serves as a ledge and place to hang pots.

The home features exposed rock throughout, a feature of Wright’s architecture style. Here in the kitchen it serves as a ledge and place to hang pots.

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Wright envisioned people spending most of their time in the common spaces of a home, the dining room being one of them.

Wright envisioned people spending most of their time in the common spaces of a home, the dining room being one of them.

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

The cabinet in back of the TV room encloses a flat screen TV. Wright was a big fan of watching movies at home, and designed this room at an angle that would avoid the sun's glare on the screen.

The cabinet in back of the TV room encloses a flat screen TV. Wright was a big fan of watching movies at home, and designed this room at an angle that would avoid the sun’s glare on the screen.

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Exposed stone makes another appearance in one of the 3.5 baths.

Exposed stone makes another appearance in one of the 3.5 baths.

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Views of the 593-acre lake abound from the main bedroom. There are six total across the property.

Views of the 593-acre lake abound from the main bedroom. There are six total across the property.

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

The two-bedroom guest house was built in the 1950s. The main house came later.

The two-bedroom guest house was built in the 1950s. The main house came later.

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Multiple patios promise many sunset vantage points. 

Multiple patios promise many sunset vantage points. 

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

A helipad on top of the property makes it easy to access by helicopter. The ride is just 15 minutes from New York City.

A helipad on top of the property makes it easy to access by helicopter. The ride is just 15 minutes from New York City.

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

A pontoon boat docked at the house for lake cruising. 

A pontoon boat docked at the house for lake cruising. 

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

There is ample space on the island to commune with nature.

There is ample space on the island to commune with nature.

Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

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