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Location: Cortlandt Manor, New York
The Skinny: This "majestic estate" in the hamlet of Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., dates back to 1786, and was once owned by Claude Philippe, according to the listing, the one-time maitre d' and banquets manager at the Waldorf Astoria, who was apparently known as "Philippe of the Waldorf" until he was fired for booking Harry Belafonte. (Later in life, he tried to build a luxurious resort on the isle of Saint Martin, only to run out of money due to his love for extravagances. "I have created a Cadillac. You want to put into it a Chevrolet engine," he is said to have responded to an investor's request he cut corners.) The main house has five bedrooms, five baths and six fireplaces, as well as a formal dining room, a library, and a "relaxing sun room" that opens onto a terrace. Six additional structures "for living/income" include a carriage house, an ice house, and a converted barn. Listed for $4,999,900, its 13.29 acres have already been subdivided into four parcels.