Our January 2008 trip to Alder Manor, William Boyce Thompson’s Italian Renaissance Revival estate in Yonkers, N.Y., revealed many interesting bits of trivia. Did you know that a Victoria’s Secret catalog was shot there, or that this is the house where Russell Crowe, playing delusional John Nash, makes his secret letter drops? The juxtaposition seems oddly appropriate.
We were treated to an impromptu tour of the house by its caretaker on a day when electricians were trying to re-wire the 72-room mansion. Our guide pointed out what might be the world’s largest paint chip. He directed us to the great one’s safe, which was unfortunately empty. Sadly, much of the home’s original art was stripped out and sold at auction in the 80s.
Alder Manor was purchased by The Tara Circle in October 2004 with the intent of creating an Irish cultural center. The group is renting the building out for movie and photo shoots, weddings, and other cultural events. It has put together a great slideshow of the home. Other photography of the house can be found on this site, which identifies film locations. Mona Lisa Smiles, staring Julia Roberts, was also shot here, along with The Royal Tannenbaums and Crocodile Dundee.