Tours of Holly Hill house to benefit Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey

Monday, 09 May 2011 13:04
hollyhill050911_optBY MARGARET MORGAN

Holly Hill, the third Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Show House to benefit the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (VNACJ), opened to the public last week. The spectacular Show House will be open Tuesdays through Sundays through June 12. Nestled on a hilltop overlooking the Navesink River and Atlantic Ocean in Locust, this historic country estate captures one of the most magnificent and beautiful water views in New Jersey.

Built in 1934 by New Jersey state senator and superior court Judge Thomas Brown, the 12-acre property includes dozens of specimen holly trees, from which the estate derived its name. To aid in the country’s recovery from the Great Depression, Judge Brown retained local craftsmen to construct Holly Hill utilizing local materials whenever possible such as peanut stone and cedar taken directly from the property. Terraces were constructed from 1800s era brownstone (each stone weighing over 1,000 pounds), which were salvaged from area railroad bridges.

The 30-room Georgian-style mansion, reminiscent of the rich spirit of the Gatsby era, is constructed with handmade brick and retains many of its original architectural features that include: the African walnut grand staircase; a cherry wood-paneled library; the “Aladdin Lamp” staircase, a stairway to the stars between the second floor and the sun roof; a roof dome covered in antique Brittany tiles, and pressed copper gutters.

Internationally acclaimed designer and author Alexa Hampton, daughter of the renowned interior designer Mark Hampton, is the Honorary Design Chair. Horticulture and landscape expert, Dr. Norman Hungerford serves as the Honorary Landscape Chair.

More than 35 national and regional world-class interior designers, decorators and landscape artists have transformed this pre-war treasure to create a home that reflects the history and bucolic setting of the estate while incorporating the contemporary elements of elegant 21st century living.

Each of the 30 rooms invites visitors into a unique experience that sometimes goes global from the Moroccan-inspired dining room to the worldly tour of furnishings and objects d’art in the Pool House Loft. The artistry and innovation exhibited by the designers is truly astounding — the hand-painted vine design on the foyer, staircase and second floor hallway walls and the ethereal flowers and butterflies flowing around the Master Dressing Room walls.

In addition to the manor house and pool house, visitors will enjoy meandering through the extensive gardens from a formal rose garden to a budding vegetable garden planted by Sickles Market. Continental breakfast, luncheon and refreshments are provided by the Salt Creek Grille, Rumson, offering fresh muffins and bagels, quiche de jour and a Chef’s entrée, as well as many of the restaurant’s signature dishes.

Proceeds from Holly Hill will be used to benefit VNACJ home care, hospice and community-based programs and services. For more information, visit VNACJ.

Hours for Holly Hill are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For ticket information and group sales, visit Stately Homes by-the-Sea or call 732-224-6780.

During this next week, details will be revealed on the gardens and some of the special features in Holly Hill, such as the “WOW” pantry. Stay connected.

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