- Associated Press - Saturday, November 22, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - A New York lakeside mansion built by President Theodore Roosevelt’s cousin and now owned by an order of nuns will soon be on the market.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse (https://bit.ly/1uSbR25 ) reported Saturday on the plans for the 58-room Stella Maris Retreat and Renewal Center overlooking Skaneateles Lake, about 25 miles southwest of Syracuse.

The Sisters of the Third Franciscan Order of Syracuse have owned the mansion for six decades, but a spokeswoman said the order could no longer maintain it - despite income from conferences, yoga weekends and even a strawberry festival.

“It’s a beautiful structure, beautiful property,” said the spokeswoman, Rochelle Cassella. “The location is just breathtaking. It’s very difficult for us to say goodbye to it.”

Assessed at almost $3.5 million, the 6-acre property includes gardens and a boathouse.

The mansion was built in about 1880 by Theodore Roosevelt’s cousin Frederick Roosevelt, who owned railroads, an oil company and a bank. Frederick Roosevelt and his wife spent summers there.

The property was designed by architect William Rutherford Mead, with interiors by Stanford White, according to author Kihm Winship, who has written about the surrounding village, also called Skaneateles.

He said the house was built in pieces in New York City and transported to Skaneateles for assembly.

After Frederick Roosevelt died, the property was purchased by Syracuse businessman Burns Lyman Smith, and eventually by the Catholic order.

The retreat center will officially close on Jan. 26, 2015.


Information from: The Post-Standard, https://www.syracuse.com

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