House Updates 9 -- Mark Island Lightkeeper's House, Winter Harbor, Maine


The rumor was true. Mark Island Lightkeeper's house in Winter Harbor, Maine is owned by designer William Sofield. When I wrote about the house last July I couldn't find anything to confirm it. Now I've got the pictures. It's in this month's Architectural Digest (which, as we've noticed before, means that he's going to try to sell it again).

Not many people decorate with a vintage pin the tail on the donkey game. That's what tipped me off that it was the house I had written about. Relatedly, the magazine article shows more of the eclectic decor than the real estate listing did.

Even better, the story gives us the names of the rooms. That all white wall sculpture above is in the summer kitchen. The desk is in the map room.

The apples are in the sunroom.

The house had no running water or electricity. Sofield said that they lived like survivalists until he installed a propane refrigerator and solar panels to run it off the grid. He also added the 1930's Magic Chef stove. 

The above room is the stair hall and the 19th century Chinese wedding bed below is in the music room. And here I thought it was in a bedroom.

This is the guest bathroom and bedroom:

I was eager to see if this bedroom was part of the article...

because it was the one that I "if it were mined" last July...

{source unknown}

but the room wasn't included in the magazine. Maybe Sofield is still busy trying to source an antique boat for the bed. The rest of the house is how he found it, full of previous owners' treasures.

The more I read about Sofield, the more I like him and his zeal for preserving old and quirky places. Do you find yourself liking so many styles that you wish you had multiple houses to decorate? He does, too.
He and his partner Dennis Anderson own or have owned multiple properties at the same time, renovating them, putting them on and off the market, and then renovating them some more.

This one is Balcastle in South Hampton, New York, modeled after an Irish castle. It's on the National Register of Historic Places (and also has its own Wikipedia page). It has 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms in 2,900 square feet.

It was built in 1911 and it's pretty fantastic.

From cottage to castle to a Modernist mansion. High Ridge House in Bedford Hills, New York is/was their main residence. This one took a little digging to find, as the grainy 2006 real estate photos prove. It's also known as the Richard Mandel House. (Wikipedia page.)

It was built in 1935 by architects Edward Durell Stone and Donald Deskey (of Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall fame) in Westchester County, New York. It has 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, and 7,584 square feet.

Sofield and Anderson also own a Manhattan brownstone:

They also concurrently owned a house in Los Angeles' Laurel Canyon neighborhood, but sold it in 2018. 

It was built in 1917 and designed by Greene and Greene Architects. 

It was once owned by actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, which explains its Hollywood glamor:

Just like in the lightkeeper's house, you can tell that Sofield preserved the house beautifully. He also seems to have a thing for really cool vintage stoves.

Coastal cottage, whimsical castle, Modernist mansion, New York brownstone, and Arts and Crafts classic. 
As soon as he lists a rustic mountain cabin or a houseboat on Zillow, I'll be on it.

The Architectural Digest story (subscribers only) is here. The lightkeeper's house was taken off the market last November, but it's only a matter of time until we see it again here.

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