The late Elizabeth Ross ‘Libet’ Johnson, great-granddaughter of the co-founder of Johnson & Johnson (which ranks on several Forbes’ lists, including #48 on the Best Employers For Diversity), maintained an impressive real estate portfolio during her life. The grandest of them all is this six hundred acre estate, called Lightning Tree Farm, in New York’s Hudson Valley, about ninety miles outside of New York City that was initially asking $28.5 million for the entire package. The family has since subdivided the land and is now selling 373 acres with the 18,000 square foot main house for $12.995 million. Johnson also owned a townhouse in the city which she purchased for $48 million in 2011, one of the highest prices for a New York City townhouse at the time; a mega-condo inside Trump Tower and several multi-million dollar California properties, including a $23.5 million property in Brentwood.
As for this hideaway a 40-minute helicopter ride away from New York City, she purchased the first parcel of land around 1980 and continued to buy up adjacent land to create the estate as it stands today. While the current asking price is for 373 acres, several of the other parcels are still available for purchase. One is a 57-acre lot asking $900,000 and the other is a 46-acre lot asking $850,000. Family members have built homes on other parts of the estate and have decided to sell the rest now that they are longer needed. The nine-bedroom, nine-bathroom house has the only private helipad in the town and no others are allowed. The extras that come with the main house include a wine cellar, children’s playroom with built-in stage, elevator, flower-arranging room, dog room and room for staff to stay on the premises. The equestrian facilities boast a 18-stable barn with carriage room, outdoor riding ring and miles of trails to make up some of the more exclusive aspects of the offering.
The study embodies the classical architecture of the house with intricate ceiling moldings and one of the eight fireplaces in the main home.
One of many rooms with elaborate wall decor, the dining room has enough room to entertain at least a dozen guests.
The chandeliered master suite has corner views over the grounds.
The home theater is large enough for several bed-sized couches and other plush seating to entertain a crowd.
The wine cellar veers towards the medieval with cool stones (that help maintain a lower temperature in the room), slate floor and textured walls.
And here’s an overhead shot that gives a glimpse of the gardens landscaped by Ed Bye, former professor of landscape architecture at the Cooper Union and advocate for restoring native woodlands.
The rest of the land includes a limestone pool, pool houses, four other smaller homes, a spring-fed pond and abundant wildlife.
The property is co-listed with Marina T. Schindler of Compass and Candace Anderson of HW Guernsey Realtors. Here is a website for the entire property.