Shadowbrook, Snuff Mill Road, Greenville, Delaware


Normally it's a bad thing to say that a house looks like a museum inside, but not in the case of this 1939 fieldstone mansion known as Shadowbrook. It has a lot of fine details, but it still feels like home.

It's set on 152 acres in Greenville, Delaware, but a pond takes up seven of them. Another good chunk of it is dedicated farmland, and classified as such on the property record. 

It's on the other side of a bridge which crosses a creek... 

and takes you past a little waterfall.

The house is perched on one of the highest elevations in Delaware. If that's not obvious from the photos, it's because Delaware is the state with the lowest mean elevation. (You might have thought it was Florida, but apparently in this case, Delaware has them beat.)

Shadowbrook was built in the Okie style of architecture, which basically means it has museum-worthy attention to details, especially intricate millwork.

Besides the millwork on the portico and shutters, another detail is the millstones embedded at the entrance. I assume they are snuff mill millstones. The detail that is the most museum-worthy though, is the  foyer's elliptical staircase.

It's a replica of the Montmorenci staircase at the nearby Winterthur museum. Henry Francis DuPont salvaged the original from the 1820 Montmorenci plantation in North Carolina:

DuPont replaced his home's existing marble steps with something more "elegant and free-flying." Here's a neat picture of the work in progress:

Shadowbrook copied the design perfectly.

DuPont's staircase at Winterthur was installed in 1936, and Shadowbrook was built in 1939, which means its architects and builders were quick on their feet. Winterthur is only three miles away from Shadowbrook. I couldn't find if there is connection between them, or who Shadowbrook's original owner was. I hope to update the post with that information.

In the meantime, let's appreciate more of that intricate millwork in the entrance hall:

The dining room has museum-quality lighting. 

Winterthur also has clusters of recessed lights in some of its rooms, like this one:

Shadowbrook's drawing room doesn't have the recessed lighting, but it does share elements of Winterthur's color scheme:

Shadowbrook's library is paneled in butternut. 

As much as I love a good butternut library, I appreciate this wonderful conservatory even more:

This room is below the conservatory and served as the billiards room:

If it were mine, it would become the tavern room instead:

{Nancy Braithwaite}

As you would expect from a 1930's mansion kitchen, some of the pretty details are lacking, since the owner probably would rarely see them. In this case, I guess he only looked up:

Nowadays the kitchen would look more like this:

Its adjoining butler's pantry/caterer's kitchen with a dumbwaiter could also be updated...

taking inspiration from this:

{source, source}

As for the breakfast room, well, it certainly has a lot of attention to detail, too.

The master suite is a little more subdued:

It has a six foot wide shoe closet, which I suppose some people might still consider subdued.

It also has two bathrooms, currently designated as his and hers.

The listing doesn't feature the other bedrooms and bathrooms, but there is a total of ten each. Shadowbrook has 11,875 square feet. 

It also has a pool house and pools for both adults and kiddies...

an impossibly cute two bedroom gatehouse...

a farmhouse that's a duplex (one unit has one bedroom; the other has two)...

 a two bedroom millhouse...

and a two bedroom, seven car garage carriage house:

There are also two barns offering 25 horse stalls.

That enabled the listing agent to include some museum-worthy animal photography:

The bird photos give me an awkward segue to this bird's eye view of the roof, which again, is museum-worthy:

What looks like ordinary shingles are actually ceramic tiles, made by Ludowici.   

Among their clients is the New York Life building in New York. Ludowici made its 25,000 gold-leaf dipped terra cotta tiles.

These are the type of fine details that make Shadowbrook look like a museum, in the very best way.

The listing is here.

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