LONG LAKE — A historic Long Lake estate is being put up for sale. The price: $180 million.
The 36,000-acre property, Whitney Park, is being sold by John Hendrickson, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hendrickson is the widower of Saratoga Springs philanthropist, socialite and thoroughbred racing owner Marylou Whitney. He inherited the estate after Whitney’s death last July.
Whitney Park has 80 miles of roads, 22 lakes, a timber operation, a trapper’s cabin from the 1800s and an Adirondack great camp, according to the Journal. The great camp, Deerlands, has 17 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. Its two-story boathouse on Little Forked Lake has a collection of antique guideboats and 25 canoes, which Hendrickson told the Journal he plans to sell with the estate.
Environmentalists have long sought to add the land to the state’s holdings, making it part of the Adirondack Park and protecting it as Forever Wild land.
“Whitney Park has been at the top of the land protection priority list of New York State for the last 50 years. The property was identified by the Temporary Study Commission in the late 1960s, the Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century in 1990, and in the New York State Open Space Plan for the last 25 years. The property includes 22 lakes and ponds, over 100 miles of undeveloped shoreline, and is the missing link to historic Adirondack canoe routes from the 19 century,” said Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks.
“Whitney Park is a gem that defies description in many ways. It’s been the top of every list for the most important tract of private land in the Adirondacks. The intact forests and beauty and sheer number of lakes and ponds set this property apart from all others,” said Peter Bauer, director of Protect the Adirondacks.
Whitney Park was established by William C. Whitney in 1897, according to Adirondack Life magazine. Whitney consolidated 80,000 acres at the time for $1.50 per acre.
Marylou Whitney inherited the property after her previous husband Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney died in 1992, according to the Journal.
In 1997 under the Gov. George Pataki administration, the state of New York purchased nearly 15,000 acres of wilderness from Whitney for $17.1 million — with $10 million from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and help from the Nature Conservancy in negotiating the deal. The move was hailed by environmentalists at the time. The land is now part of the William C. Whitney Wilderness Area, which includes 20 miles of trails and several bodies of water, including Little Tupper Lake and Lake Lila, which the state bought in 1979.
Environmentalists worry the pristine natural state of the property could be harmed under other owners.
“This is a major moment for Governor Andrew Cuomo and Basil Seggos, the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. The future of the Adirondack Park as a wild and protected landscape is on the line with whether or not Whitney Park is protected or it’s changed in the future,” Bauer said.
Hendrickson told the Journal, for a story published Wednesday, that he planned to sell the property because the estate needs a family to enjoy it and care for it.
“It’s bittersweet that I’ve decided to sell,” he told the newspaper, “but it’s too overwhelming for one man and I don’t really want to be an owner of a country. You can fit 70 Monacos in there.
“It’s lonely without Marylou,” he added.
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