History – Part II
For the next four decades up to World War II, Edgewater was owned by the John Jay Chapman Family, but during most of this period the house stood vacant. The Chapmans built a similar but more modern classical villa, which they called Sylvania, on the hillside above Edgewater, well removed from the noisy trains below.
In 1946 author Gore Vidal purchased Edgewater. He resided in the house until 1969, when he sold it to Richard H. Jenrette. Much of Vidal’s earlier writing was done at Edgewater. He had a fascinating coterie of literary friends who kept Edgewater lively.
Jenrette bought Edgewater from Vidal in 1969 and owned the home for over 45 years. He repurchased surrounding land that had been sold and filled the house with period antiques and art, including Donaldson’s unusual two suites of Duncan Phyfe furniture, various Donaldson and Livingston family portraits, as well as objets d’art from the Livingston era.
Upon Dick Jenrette’s death in 2018, Edgewater was devised to Classical American Homes Preservation Trust.