A sprawling New Jersey estate that has served as home to industrialists and philanthropists alike has hit the open market after undergoing a major restoration.
Situated on Mountain Top Road in Bernardsville, the Faircourt Mansion was first constructed in 1897 before being rebuilt in 1916. The property, owned by multimillionaire Colonel Anthony R. Kuser after the rebuild, was the site of a notorious 1921 robbery where Kuser’s daughter-in-law, future philanthropist, and author Brooke Astor, was robbed of over $13,000 worth of jewelry.
The estate has another notable connection for architecture buffs. The 15 acres around the mansion were originally landscaped by John Charles Olmsted, the son of Frederick Law Olmsted who designed New York City’s Central Park and the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Architectural Digest profiled the home after it was revamped last decade by architect Annabelle Selldorf and interior designer Matthew Frederick. The resulting two-year renovation looked to balance Old World style with New World modernism.
The mansion itself was inspired by Tuscany’s distinctive country villas and the expansive layout encompasses eight bedrooms including a four-room guest suite, eight full baths, and three half baths. An elevator services all four levels of the house, which feature extravagant woodwork and gilded ceilings throughout.
“This estate is a unique treasure in the storied Somerset Hills Mountain Colony,” the listing reads. “A refined yet warm aesthetic details the interior spaces with widened windows and glass doors to invite natural light and views into the gracious floor plan.”
The biggest portion of the renovation involved creating a contemporary wing out of what were formerly service rooms. Highlights of the endeavor include a center-island kitchen with Boffi cabinets imported from Italy and Gaggenau appliances that adjoins a two-story family room featuring a retractable glass wall.
Details are the star at the Faircourt Mansion and they include bronze-accented wrought ironwork near the entry and a bar room centered by a stone fireplace. An oak-paneled library lined with built-in bookcases imported from France is a highlight, as is a lower-level wine cellar, workshop and greenhouse area.
The grounds at the mansion are just as impressive as they feature a VersaCourt tennis court, a heated saltwater pool, a three-hole putting green, a heated parking courtyard, and an orchard with 72 peach, pear, apple and cherry trees. A multi-story garage houses a car lift for protected parking of up to five cars.
Property tax information is not available for the Faircourt Mansion, which has an asking price of $12 million. The home is currently listed with Gerry Jo Cranmer of Far Hills-based Turpin Realtors.