The married actors—he probably most known for The Blair Witch Project, and she The Newsroom—wound up purchasing the 200-year-old property for a mere $718,900, and subsequently renovated and updated the place to suit “a new generation of tastes”; now, two years later, the couple is putting their fully transformed compound up for sale, asking just over $4.2 million.
“When I first laid eyes on Breezy Hill, none of it really made sense,” says Leonard, who recently retired from a 25-year stint in the film industry to pursue his passion for building. “From the early 19th-century stone house, built with bluestone excavated on site, to the civil war-era post-and-beam barn…to the two 1950s-era boarding houses. It was magical and derelict, but even in its rawest state, I could feel the generations of hands and hearts that had gone into building it.
“It spoke to me—like when you meet a lover who’s weirdest, most hidden parts are what you actually find the most appealing,” he adds. “I knew how epic the property could be with the right stewardship, and believed (for better or worse), that I was the one to do it.”
During the construction process, Leonard says protecting the marks of craftsmanship that came before him was just as important as updating the property with his own twist, which included the challenging task of bringing all of the infrastructure and creature comforts up to modern-day standards. Per The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the sale, the multi-seven-figure project included raising the ceilings and exterior stone walls, adding a cupola, reconfiguring the floor plan and building an 1,800-square-foot addition onto the main house.
The result is a stunningly reimagined property sited on a 20-acre parcel of heavily wooded land in the rural community of Accord, about 90 miles north of Manhattan. Included is an 19th-century stone house, plus two newly rebuilt guesthouses—for a total of six bedrooms and an equal number of baths in around 5,000 square feet of living space spotlighted by stone excavated from the property. There also is the aforementioned barn and a detached one-car garage.
Especially standing out in the three-story main house is a sitting room featuring reclaimed wood and the original stone, which opens to a spacious kitchen outfitted with white oak floors, custom cabinetry, an under-lit marble island, a built-in butcher block and top-tier stainless appliances, as well as a window-lined breakfast nook and French doors spilling out to a veranda.
Other highlights include a newly enlarged 1,000-square-foot primary bedroom suite resting behind a sliding wood bar door, and holding French doors leading to a private balcony, walk-in closet, and spa-inspired bath equipped with radiant-heated floors, dual vanities, a soaking tub and large glass-encased shower.
Perhaps the most special part of the property, though, are the secluded and picturesque grounds, which are laced with rolling hills, a spring-fed pond and streams with seasonal waterfalls. Then there’s the beautifully restored barn, which flaunts the stained-glass windows, along with a hand-chiseled chestnut staircase and massive wrought-iron chandelier salvaged from a circa-1860 hotel in Manhattan.
What’s next for Leonard now that he’s completed his first professional renovation? “I’m excited to spend this next chapter of my life building in the Hudson Valley,” he says. “I just contracted myself out to a client for the first time to design and build a house that I think will be very special. I also want to keep building/rebuilding/imagining/reimagining my own projects. I don’t have a specific agenda, but am very excited for all the possibilities that this area and its community have to offer.”
One of the most expensive homes currently on the market in Ulster County, the home is listed by Robert Airhart with the Clement, Brooks & Safier Team of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hudson Valley Properties.
Click here for more images of Joshua Leonard and Alison Pill’s Breezy Hill compound.