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Listing No. 5050

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1791 Greek Revival

Vesper Cliff: an Alexander Jackson Davis design

Listed on both the state and federal register, this is one of very few remaining AJD design homes. Built in 1791 with a major addition in 1832.
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Bedrooms 6
Full Baths 1
Half Baths 1
Stories 2.5
Acres 18

Features.

  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Dining room
  • Dry Basement
  • Entry Hall
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Living room
  • Walk out Basement
  • Walk-Up Attic
  • 1 Car Garage
  • Automatic outside lights
  • Barn
  • Driveway - Paved
  • Porch
  • 2nd Staircase
  • Built-in Bookcases
  • Fireplaces
  • Grand staircase
  • Original wood windows
  • City water supply
  • Dishwasher
  • Gas heating
  • Refrigerator
  • Security System
  • Septic Tank
  • Water Heater - Electric
  • 10-foot Ceilings
  • Plaster Walls
  • Pocket Doors
  • Ripple Glass
  • Servant's Staircase
  • Steam Radiators
  • Transoms
  • Widow's Walk

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This listing is archived and is not for sale.

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Vesper Cliff

Vesper Cliff: Listed on the National and NY Registry of Historic Homes this eighteen acre estate in the southern Finger Lakes region of New York was originally built in 1791 with a major addition by prominent antebellum architect Alexander Jackson Davis completed in 1834. This Greek Revival home is a rare surviving example of residential design in a portfolio of classical homes, public and university buildings, designed all or in part by Davis. Lofty columns grace the front of the house and greet the visitor to whet his appetite for the sophistication of the interior finishes. Vesper Cliff, which was purchased by the ancestors of the present owners in the early 1880’s, has a rich and sometimes colorful history of previous owners which include local and state legislators and several prominent businessmen. Some of the architect’s original drawings have been found and copies are available for viewing.

The exquisite interior includes six fireplaces, two grand parlors with original plaster crown molding and period trim, separated by a butler’s pantry with dumb waiter, an elegant dining room and eat in kitchen. Multiple French doors lead from the parlors to the front porch lined by the massive columns described earlier which wrap around to the front entrance. Davis’ elegance of design and the workmanship implemented is most evident in the cherry handrail and banister leading to the second floor. The house measures over 5000 sq. ft. of heated space and boasts seven bedrooms, including his and her master bedrooms are directly above the parlors, with the remaining five on the upper level of the main house, a full floored attic and finished basement. Towering over the structure is a cupola with panoramic views of the acreage. Recent upgrades include a new septic system, water softener, and minor remodeling to the kitchen.

Portions of the property have been under active cultivation since the mid 1960’s which has ensured its farm land tax assessment. Located adjacent to the Owego Creek, the center of which provides one entire side’s property line the estate is a sportsman’s dream. Fly fishing and hunting are huge pastimes in the area. Game on the site includes trout, deer, fox, duck, geese, rabbit and squirrel. The property has a carriage house attached and three period out buildings separate from the house including a barn which incorporates Davis’ Greek Revival design.

Archived in February, 2013

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Listing No. 5050

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