What was once the Astor family’s garden pavilion in the Hudson River Valley was transformed into an exquisite country retreat for fashion magnate Robert Duffy – founder and deputy chairman of Marc Jacobs International – and his family.
Thirty years ago, Duffy had a weekend home across the river. An acquaintance showed him an uninhabited folly on the grounds of Ferncliff, the old Astor estate near Rhinebeck. The Astors would retreat – via miniature railroad – to this neoclassical brick pavilion, which they called their “teahouse” when they needed a break from the formality of their main residence. Duffy said he and his friends would go there to “hang out and have fun.”
The estate later sold the teahouse to a couple who expanded it into a residence but never lived there. The home sat empty for seven years until Duffy came along to rescue it. There was considerable work to do, so Duffy turned to his decorator Richard McGeehan, with whom he had collaborated eight times, to create a masterpiece.
Photography by James Merrell. Images and captions via Elle Decor.