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Sunday, December 21, 2014

The MacKenzie-Childs Estate overolooking Cayuga Lake.


Buyers of MacKenzie-Childs property 'just like other folks in the area'

                     Buyers of MacKenzie-Childs property 'just like other folks in the area

The original King Ferry home of the original founders of the international company MacKenzie-Childs has been sold.

The buyers are Chet Manchester and his wife, Anne Sutherland Early.

Manchester is a former president of the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston — the Mother Church and administrative headquarters of the Church of Christ, Scientist.

He currently works as a Christian Science lecturer and practitioner, and continues to do some work with the Boston church.

His work, however, played no part in the home purchase, Manchester said.

Manchester mentions reopening the property's former Home Again Bed and Breakfast and Boutique as a possibility down the road.

But for now, Manchester and Sutherland Early just want to enjoy the quiet.

"We're just coming in to be part of the community and contribute to it, just like other folks in the area," he said. "I grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, and this feels like home to me."

Victoria MacKenzie and Richard Childs began their ceramic business on the property in 1983.

The business eventually opened a new headquarters at a former dairy farm up the road in AURORA, and the couple sold the business to Pleasant Rowland.

Pleasant Rowland later sold MacKenzie-Childs to an investment company.

The No. 1671 Route 90 estate in King Ferry includes

the MacKenzie-Childs' 4,280-square-foot private residence
an original artist studio
a 2,300-square-foot three-story carriage house with servant’s quarters
a former retail gift shop and
the 43-acre grounds overlooking Cayuga Lake.

Manchester and Sutherland Early were among 109 showings given by the property's listing agent.

 All had to pre-qualify to prove they could afford it.

Among the other interested parties were a celebrity in the film industry, DeRosa said, whose original offer was close to the property's $1.1 million asking price. DeRosa couldn't disclose the celebrity's name due to a confidentiality agreement.

So many were interested in the property in part because it was featured in national publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and MSNBC.

"It was by far one of the most interesting properties that I've worked on because of all the national news we were getting featured in," DeRosa said.

"People were coming from all over."

Manchester entered the picture March 29, and wound up renting the property for the month of August.

He and Sutherland Early made a purchase offer in October and finalized it in November.

Between those stages of the sale, a buyer from the Middle East made an offer for more than the original asking price.

But DeRosa and the MacKenzie-Childs chose to honor the agreement they made with Manchester and Sutherland Early.

However, Manchester and Sutherland Early's purchase did not include the MacKenzie-Childs' decor contents, DeRosa said.

The collection of original art will be sold at a later date.

    Don't worry about the land going off the tax records because all the land around the house is someone sister's property.
    Some call this a tragic, and infuriating sale.

    Of course, because the sale is to a "church", it's no doubt that this impressive and taxable property will no doubt be completely of the tax rolls for that town.
    I'm sure that it will be somehow classified as an UN-taxable asset of the Church---a controversy-wracked organization that supposedly can count ONLY 900 American adherents!

      Everything you see is not owned by the church

We Love Victoria MacKenzie Childs


Now I'm going to tell you about the girl I'm seeing now. I met her at a Macy's in New York. She was buying clothes, and I was putting slinkies on the escalators. The girl I'm seeing now, Rachel, is a very pretty girl. She has emerald eyes and long, flowing plaid hair. The last week in August, we went camping way up in Canada. We were laying around in the woods and stuff, and I don't know how she did it but she got poison ivy on her brain and the only way she can scratch it is if she thinks about sandpaper. She's a rich girl, she's from somewhere else. And her father is an incredible millionaire. He's the guy who designed the diagram to show you which way to put the batteries in something.
--- Steven Wright.

The MacKenzie-Childs Estate, 42 acres, King Ferry, New York, overlooking Cayuga Lake, -- No. 1671, State Route 90, King Ferry --.


MacKenzie-Childs' King Ferry estate

MacKenzie-Childs King Ferry estate
Aerial view of the MacKenzie-Childs estate, at 1671 Route 90 in King Ferry, with original decor contents.


A Christian Science lecturer and his wife now own the original home of the MacKenzie-Childs estate decor via Sotheby.

Chet Manchester said he and his wife, Anne Sutherland Early, had been looking for "a place of real beauty, artistry and a retreat."

And they found it!

They found it in the King Ferry estate where eclectic San Francisco-born  artist Victoria Mackenzie ("I got the inspiration for my hair from a story by Steven Wright, my favourite comedian -- "long, flowing plaid hair") and Massachussets-born Richard Childs lived as from 1983 when they bought this gem and refurbished.

The house at No. 1671 State Route 90 in King Ferry was owned by Victoria Mackenzie and Richard Childs, since they bought it in 1893. It is older than that!

The main house, the Mackenzie-Childs "studio", and carriage house are located on the 42-acre property .

The 43-acre property, the house, a free-standing studio -- the first MacKenzie-Childs studio -- and a three-story carriage house, went on the market.

Between the buildings, there are seven bed rooms, four full baths and two half baths on the property at 1671 Route 90 in King Ferry (formerly called "Northville").

When the Victoria MacKenzie and husband Richard Childs put their King Ferry estate on the market, it made national news -- as it should!

The property was featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The New York Times, Huffington Post and Celebrity Real Estate Media.

The Post-Standard featured the estate as its "House of the Week" in 2011.

In October 2012, a celebrity in the film industry, whose name was not released because of a confidentiality agreement, had offered to buy the property and some original decor contents "in the vicinity of" the original asking price.

"The celebrity buyer had an option to purchase, but it did not come to fruition.

Then on March 29, Chet Manchester and his wife contacted Sotheby.

They, too, were interested in purchasing the Mackenzie-Childs property.

While the property was on the market, there were 109 showings and more than 250,000 hits on mackenziechildsestate.com.

Anyone interested in seeing the estate had to pre-qualify, showing they could afford a $1.1 million home.

Potential buyers flew in in their private planes to Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport.

Others traveled by air to Hancock International Airport, where limousines picked them up and brought them to the property.

And some buyers were chartered on a floatplane, DeRosa said.

The interest was high.

A prince from Dubai contacted Sotheby's about the MacKenzie-Childs estate, and nearly two months ago someone from the Middle East put a back-up offer in.

The sale was finalized Dec. 20, 2013, when Chet Manchester and his wife closed on the estate.

The sale was recorded Friday in the Cayuga County Clerk's Office.

The Manchesters, who lived in Boston for about 20 years, was most recently living in St. Louis.

The Manchesters drove to their new home just before Christmas.

The sale includes:

-- the MacKenzie-Childs' 4,280-square-foot private residence.
-- an original artist studio
-- a 2,300-square-foot three-story carriage house with servant's quarters
-- a former retail gift shop (their big store was on Madison Avenue, New York).
-- the 43-acre grounds overlooking Cayuga Lake.

The original decor contents -- which have been never been seen publicly before -- were not included in the purchase.

They will be sold at a later date.

"I feel like this home sprung up from their soul as artists and designers," Manchester said. "We plan to carry on that spirit."

Chet Manchester said he manages the International Speakers Bureau for the Christian Science Church, which publishes the Christian Science Monitor.

Chet Manchester previously was president of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston.

He will continue to work with church, but he will do most of his work from his new home.

"We're hopefully not only going to live here, but create an inspirational retreat for anyone seeking spiritual, quiet and renewal," he said.

"The home itself is a piece of art."

Victoria MacKenzie and Richard Childs now work and live on the last remaining Ellis Island ferry boat, "Yankee," docked on the Hudson River in New York City.

Victoria MacKenzie and Richard Childs continue their art work.





Some liked it better when it was

"Brown's house down the lane"

That was before MacKenzie and Childs bought it in 1983.

Brown's house down the lane was a perfect example of the perfectly square, symmetrical, small country house.

There was a lot of work on it -- stripping walls down and exposing the beams and such.

Some remember when MacKenzie and Childs bought a chuck of Boyer Cottage -- formerly a lakeside building on the Wells College campus, where the "Guest Lodge" now stands -- for $1 and tacked it onto the south side of Brown's house down the lane.

For some, this sort of cut off the nice southern exposure Brown's house down the lane used to have.

The rest of Boyer Cottage, incidentally, went to a family named Ebert, who plopped it on an overlook of Cayuga Lake on Pumpkin Hill just south of Aurora.

Some wonder what Victoria MacKenzie and Richard Childs will do with the old Genoa Central School, which they also own, now they don't live in the area.

The real story here, the nonsensical, euphoric "initial" asking prices that Sotheby's places on upstate New York listings.

This Mackenzie-Childs house went for a 40%+ discount from the original asking price.

Hmm...before someone goes out and pays $1 million for Sotheby's Tiandareh listing, perhaps he/she might conclude it, too, is only worth $500K.

Kudos to Sotheby's for securing the listings...shame on it...for attempting to gouge naive buyers...and...shame on the manager of it's Albany office 100+ miles away.

The buck stops with him/her.

Christian ..Science.... Monitor...wonder which way that leans.

Some call them, wrongly, "ceramic trinkets that cost pennies to make, and sell for $100 bucks a piece" will get you your own $1 million dollar estate. The thing is: how long can that last?

So if it becomes a retreat, does it become tax-exempt?

The town may have to rise up against that.


That would be too good to be true.

I hope they can swing it. I'm thinking of starting my own religion. Just need to start handing out money.

Funny how these religious leaders have so much money.

The abandoned Genoa school still standing in King Ferry.

It's kind of an intriguing place, only open for a relatively short period of time before it was closed due to consolidation, I suppose.


More than likely the taxes will go up (they never go down in NY State).

Taxes; probably a good reason why the property sold at half their asking price.

That's a deal compared to the current house of the week.

Hey, that couple got a bargain.

That house with that amount of land plus the footage of the house alone was a steal, some think.

I can't believe that house didn't sell for more than that.

I wonder what Jesus would say about a Christian Science lecturer who became rich.

Christian Science" has nothing to do with the Jesus of the Bible...
Jesus has plenty to say about false religion(s) in the Bible...check it out!

It references his name in connection to their teachingngs but totally misrepresents him as to who he was and is and what he came to do on the earth.

Every religion says that all the other ones are false. Funny how that works.

That's cause religion is man made.


MacKenzie-Childs is a manufacturer of furniture and ceramics based in Aurora, New York founded by San Francisco-born Victoria Mackenzie and Massachusetts-born husband Richard Childs.
Theirs is a magical story. They met at Alfred University, where Richard was studying and Victoria was teaching.
They eventually settled in an idyllic farm in Aurora (of all places). They later moved (for a short period) to an apartment in New York, and to a ferry boat on the Hudson, the Yankee.
Their first store was on Madison Avenue, New York.
The company Mackenzie-Childs entered Chapter-11-bankruptcy protection in 2000.
In 2001 Pleasant Rowland, founder of American Girl, purchased the bankrupt MacKenzie-Childs.
In 2005, the company laid off several workers, including founders Victoria Mackenzie and Richard Childs.
After Rowland restructured her management team in 2006, MacKenzie-Childs became profitable.
In 2008 Rowland sold MacKenzie-Childs to Lee Feldman and Howard Cohen, part owners of Twin Lakes Capital.
There are a couple of Mackenzie-Childs store: one in New York, and one in Southampton, New York.
Also at Saks Fifth Avenue.


"Functional fantasies grab imagination Wichita shop promotes MacKenzie-Childs designers featured in Neiman Marcus holiday catalog". Wichita Eagle. October 12, 1996.
    Thomas, Laura (May 12, 2004). "Hot Stuff". San Francisco Chronicle
Peterson, Deborah (September 3, 1992). "Whimsy: MacKenzie-Childs Gives Wings To Flights Of Fancy". St. Louis Post-Dispatch 
Barrera, Sandra (2009-07-20). "MacKenzie-Childs brings fun back to home decorating". Los Angeles Daily News. . 
"20 employees laid off at MacKenzie-Childs". The Post-Standard (in Syracuse, NY). November 17, 2005 

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