A heart-shaped private island 50 miles north of New York City is still on the market, now at an over 20 percent discount from its 2018 list price. Called Petra Island (also called Petre Island), the 10-acre property boasts two homes with Frank Lloyd Wright ties, an original ’50s guest house that Wright actually built and a larger residence built decades later based on Wright’s early drawings.
In 1949, the engineer Ahmed Chahroudi purchased the island and commissioned Wright to design a residence. Wright originally designed a sprawling 5,000-square-foot structure for the site, but when the owner realized he couldn’t afford the project, Wright was forced to build a smaller 1,200-square-foot cottage instead.
Many years later, Petra’s new owner, John Massaro, decided to bring Wright’s original plans to life based on a handful of drawings, floorplans, and other documents that came with the property. He enlisted an architect and Wright scholar to complete the massive home around 2007, but the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has refused to recognize it as an authentic Wright design on the basis of aesthetic and construction choices in the completed house.
The home has been off-and-on the market for years, and in 2018 it was asking $12,900,000. Despite the house’s disputed origins, its Wright influence is clear. Broad, horizontal planes mark the design, and the house features geometric woodwork, built-in furniture, and a careful integration with its natural site.
The cantilevered building sits on Lake Mahopac, and is believed to be the largest home Wright ever designed—almost doubling the 15-foot cantilevers of Fallingwater. Other perks include a helipad, dock, and beach, and the home is accessible by helicopter or a five-minute boat ride from the mainland.