“Christmas Tree” House Off Onondaga Lake
After decades of wonder, the mansion known by many as the “Christmas Tree” house, which overlooks Onondaga Lake in Liverpool, had its first open house ever, as the owners, now in their 80’s and realizing that they were never going to move into the house, have finally put it on the market.
I had to go see it, as it’s been a curiosity of mine since it was completed. The reason it got its name is because there was this ultra large Christmas tree that was put up one year and then never taken down. After being in the house I still have no clue how they got it in there, but I can imagine why they decided to leave it there easily enough. Supposedly it was originally put up to coincide with one of the first Lights On The Lakes presentations.
When my wife and I showed up we were proven to not be the only ones who wanted to see it. There was a lot of people who invaded it on that day, and my bet is that there wasn’t a true buyer among any of us. I’m not sure if it’s because the house is on the market for around $700,000 or because, with so many people, no one was going to get any serious questions answered. No matter to me; I wanted to look around.
My immediate reaction? I was somewhat disappointed, and that’s too bad. The front entrance actually faces a rocky hill, and indeed the entire front of the house, all 3 stories, only looks upon that.
The house wasn’t necessarily built to showcase the front of the house. Truthfully, we weren’t sure which room was the living room, but what would have suited it best would have been the lower floor, which is also the basement level, where one could walk out and be on the walking path of the park in a few steps. We learned that was actually an in-laws space, although there wasn’t a kitchen there, but it was the best space in the house. The bedrooms were small, and that was actually the theme of the day.
The room where the Christmas tree was is very small also, with a fireplace in there. One wouldn’t have any real room to move around in there with the tree, and it would be madness to light the fireplace with the tree being that close, although one images that if someone actually did buy the house they might put something much more modest in there and use the space more as a den. Both that room and the in-laws space goes out onto patios. The in-law space’s patio is pretty much the only place where there’s any real lawn, and it’s such a small space that if I’d done it I’d have just paved the whole thing and put flowers on it.
There was one nice space on one side of the house where one might have thought about creating a living room space, although if it were my house I’d have made it my office. There was an open window on the top level that looked into the space that was confusing until we went upstairs and found that it was from the walk-in closet of the master bedroom, one of the premiere spaces in the house, which had its own fireplace and a Jacuzzi tub with a separate shower; loved that.
The kitchen was a wonderfully big space with an island and space to put a small breakfast table into. It also faced the lake and had lots of cabinets and counter space. All counter tops were polished granite, including in the bathrooms, and I thought they were all wonderful. But not all bathrooms had tubs, which included the in-laws space.
It’s a beautiful house inside, but what dooms it are the amount of small rooms that don’t quite fit even guest room size. That was one of the reasons the builder’s wife didn’t want to move in; that’s why both the husband and wife should have a say in creating their homes. If one had small children those spaces might work, but only for a short period of time because not all of those rooms had closets, so some kind of wardrobe would have to go in there and that would drastically reduce the space.
I was glad to have the opportunity to finally see the house. I’m not sure it’s worth the price they’ve put on it but it’s a good starting place. It was hard getting pictures because there were so many people around that kept getting in the way, so these are all I could really get. But my curiosity has been sated; whew!