When Bob Muraro visited Woodstock in 2004 to advise a friend looking into some local real estate, he didn’t know he was about to discover his own part-time paradise. “I didn’t even want to go to Woodstock—I was only here for a couple of days,” he remembers. “It’s such a wonderful town, such an interesting, beautiful place. There’s nature all around, it’s fun, and it’s not far from New York City.”
Muraro has spent his law career as an attorney based in Miami, making regular visits to New York City. He and his wife Delia have a deep appreciation of art, and over the years have built an eclectic collection. In fact, they still travel extensively, picking up pieces around the world.
In Woodstock for the first time, Muraro was captivated by the town’s laidback ambiance, thriving art-and-music scene, and Catskills setting. “I thought to myself, ‘I think I should get a home here,’” he remembers, and shortly returned to look at properties.
When he found the hilltop Mid-Century Modern property on Hutchin Hill Road, about 10 minutes from town, he knew he was onto something special. Although the 3,800-square-foot home had been sitting empty and needed updating, its 40 acres were surrounded by wilderness. That helped seal the deal: “I love trees and I love stone,” Muraro says. “The property looked spectacular, and incredibly private, yet it was close to Woodstock and culture. I loved that we could have complete privacy but could still get to town quickly. Plus, my two grown daughters were living in New York City at the time, and I knew it would be a wonderful place for a family.”
Initially, he didn’t know that the thick woods surrounding the house obscured the Catskill Mountains. “I loved the serenity,” he says. “I didn’t even realize when I bought it that it had such a view.” Later, a local arborist explained that “there were mountain views on three sides of the house,” so the Muraros decided to reshape the woods to unveil the mountain vistas. Landscaping the property turned out to be a massive undertaking, but it was worth it. “We love that our house still has unbelievable privacy and unparalleled views,” says Muraro.
The property, which is scattered with stone walls and boulders that serve as sculptural elements in the landscape, is entered via an old stone bridge over one of two running streams; there is also a small waterfall. Once a maple tree farm, the land boasts hundreds of huge maples, many of which are 150 to 200 years old, as well as white birch trees, weeping cherries, Japanese dogwood, and evergreens. And there are daffodils that flower in early spring and hibiscus and Rose of Sharon plants that bloom well into autumn.
A long driveway wends through the woods to the house’s bluestone front patio, passing a tennis court and a barn that was once a dance hall. A square-patterned design, carved into the front door, makes for a distinctive entrance. To brighten up the entryway, which is lined with green tiles, the Muraros reinstalled panels of glass, which had been removed by previous owners, around and above the front door frame, to return the entrance to its original Mid-Century style.
The central hallway is lined with several rooms, including a newly updated powder room with a classic flannel wallpaper. At the center of the house is a step-down solarium featuring 24-foot-high ceilings, walls of exposed brick, and a south-facing wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors—all beneath a glass-vaulted ceiling. At the front end of the house is an office, lined with built-in bookshelves. On the opposite end of the house is a TV room featuring a large stone fireplace with a cutout for storing wood. “We love spending time in here,” says Muraro. “We build the most spectacular fires.”
At the back of the house is a newly renovated chef’s kitchen, featuring Thermador appliances, soapstone countertops, and white cabinetry with glass fronts. A central island was enlarged to accommodate a below-counter wine refrigerator. In the adjacent dining area, an eight-place table stands before a large, south-facing window overlooking the garden. A glass sliding door separates the dining from the living area. Outside, on another bluestone patio, a pergola houses an outdoor dining set; beyond, an expanse of lawn meanders past a bluestone-edged pool toward the woods.
A staircase in the entranceway leads upstairs to three bedrooms featuring vaulted, wooden-beamed ceilings and Brazilian mahogany wood-plank floors. The Muraros updated the spacious master bathroom and added a walk-in closet. Finished in polished stone, the master bathroom includes a built-in sandblasted granite vanity with two sinks, a gray slate-tiled shower with a glass door, and a freestanding soaking tub—all lit from above by a skylight.
A second, shared bathroom is finished with white subway tiles and a gray penny-tiled floor; it also features a marble vanity and a glass-walled shower outfitted with three showerheads.
The Muraros split their time between Miami, another home in Spain, and Woodstock, but make a point of spending part of each season in Woodstock. “It’s been a wonderful place to celebrate holidays with our children and grandchildren,” says Muraro. “In the warmer months, we’ve loved playing with them in the gardens and woods.”
The couple have also hosted visitors from around the world in Woodstock. “We build a fire outside in the summer, or inside in the winter,” says Muraro. “Everybody loves it: Woodstock is camp for adults.”
After enjoying so many years in the Woodstock house, the Muraros are selling it “with some mixed feelings,” he admits. The grandchildren have moved to Miami, and the couple plan to spend more time there, but they also expect to visit Woodstock often, since one of their daughters recently bought a home in the area. Besides, they could never bid Woodstock a permanent goodbye. “There is such creativity here,” says Muraro, fondly. “It seems everyone is a painter or a singer or makes violin bows. Even our plumber told us the other day he’s only doing plumbing to support himself; really, he’s a potter. We’ve had so much fun here.”
Real Estate Details
296 Hutchin Hill Road
Listed by Richard Vizzini
Real Estate Salesperson
Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty
845.389.7879 (cell) | [email protected]
A breathtaking setting on a most desirable road in Woodstock, offering peace, privacy, and spectacular panoramic mountain views. This luxurious Mid-Century Modern home has a laidback rock-n-roll style. Enter the gated entrance and be greeted by park-like acreage with streams, trails, a pool, a tennis court, and a barn that overlooks both mountains and meadows . The open living and entertaining space boasts full-glass walls, making it easy to take in the views. Cooks can let their imaginations run wild as they create feasts in the completely custom kitchen with Thermador appliances, a spacious island, and all the extra modern amenities. You’ll find peace and serenity in the sophisticated den with its French doors and impressive stone fireplace—it’s the perfect room to cozy up in on a cold winter night. The beautifully appointed master suite, complete with a walk-in closet and a sleek modern bathroom, gives you the ideal place to rest your head. In the summer months, you can play tennis on your own court, swim in the in-ground pool or just bathe in the sun with complete privacy. This property has a mix of mountain views, streams, waterfalls, flowers that bloom from spring until the leaves turn in the fall, beautiful boulders, stone walls, white birch trees, huge maple trees, and evergreens—it’s spectacular in all four seasons. Not only does this special property have everything you could want in a Catskills home, but it’s also only minutes from Woodstock.