Sotheby's International Realty - Princeton, NJ
Originally a pre-revolutionary tavern, Green Valley Farm has undergone two major renovations and expansions with the current owners under the direction of architect Bob Bennett and renowned New England decorator Ruth Stevens. Together they have created a gracious and historic country house where the original 1760 structure and the new spaces blend imperceptibly. New details such as hand-forged hinges, hardware and sconces echo the original sections of the house, where rough-hewn beams, wide floorboards and 18th century stonework are still visible. Green Valley Farm’s setting, 75 acres of rolling fields, defines the property. The pool, flanked by two cabanas, lies just outside the gourmet kitchen with its French doors and floor-to-ceiling windows. A century-old formal garden lies at the end of the dining room terrace. The great room with its two story windows and salvaged barn beams looks out over an apple orchard of heirloom trees. The house is built for entertaining, accommodating large-scale benefits and weddings as easily as intimate dinner parties. It has been a campaign stop for politicians (the house has been visited twice by a sitting president), and served various functions for state governors and congressmen- with clever traffic flow patterns and two convenient bars- a copper-clad bar in the hallway to the great room, and a bar tucked between the living room and library. Of the six fireplaces, two- one in the dining room and one in the library- are original 18th century walk- Ins. On the second floor, the master suite looks out over fenced pastures and a pond. There are five more bedrooms with bathrooms and an office or playroom on the remainder of the second floor. Beyond the great room and above a three-car garage-gym, is a light-filled office or studio space with black walnut beams from trees on the property supporting the cathedral ceiling. Of Green Valley Farm’s 75 acres, 70 are farmland assessed and in natural habitat, hay fields, or open woods, requiring minimal or no maintenance. The farm borders the Stony Brook River to the east, and preserved land to the west and north, all of which expand the rural vistas and protect the farm’s privacy. The farm’s gardens and orchards have been maintained without pesticides or herbicides. A large pond is used for fishing, swimming and skating and is an important part of the habitat for the abundant indigenous wildlife. The barn is equipped with four stalls, a wash stall, hayloft, and tack room. Designed for simplicity, so that the family’s children could participate in caring for the horses, each stall opens to a pasture, so that the horses can come and go at will, significantly reducing the work involved in their upkeep. A separate section of the barn houses a workshop and storage space for equipment. In addition to the barn there is a guest cottage, originally the carriage house, with a living room, kitchen and small dining area all above a three bay garage. Green Valley Farm in less than 4 miles from Princeton and within an hour of Newark and Philadelphia airports. It is a rare country house deceptively easy to maintain, steeped in the rural beauty surrounding it, and exceptionally well located, minutes from top schools, sports facilities and shops.