310 Cooper Rd, Red Bank, NJ
For sale: $10.9 million
The founders of Macy's department store died when the Titanic sank in 1912, and their children, the Strauss family, used their inheritance to begin construction on this large estate in the late 1920s. The design was borrowed from 18th-century Provence, and no expense was spared. Any materials that couldn't be imported were built on-site by French and Italian artisans who immigrated to do the job.
They called it Cobble Close and built an orangery, a barn and a caretaker's cottage. They intended to finish it off with a majestic 35-bedroom chateau. But the Great Depression slowed construction, and the chateau was never completed. Instead, the Strauss family sold the estate in 1951.
The buyers converted the three buildings into homes and turned the estate into a co-op, with separate owners for each of the property's historic buildings and shared use of the colonnade and swimming pool.
The neighborhood is a wealthy one — Jon Bon Jovi lives nearby — and now that all three families on the estate are ready to sell, the entire property could become a grand single residence again.
Cobble Close looks much as it did in 1930, with few upgrades. It feels like stepping back in time — at least to the 1930s, but perhaps even further, to the European farm after which it was modeled.
"I don't know who's going to buy this place," said Jeff Mindham, who lives in one of the homes on the property. "It's 29,000 square feet. It's like a junior college."
Photos by Carl Bellavia