In the late 1920s, Genevieve Ludlow Griscom, a member of the Outer Court of the Order of the Living Christ (which some say was a cult) had this mansion in the Riverdale section of the Bronx constructed. Not for her and her husband, Clement Acton Griscom Jr., but for Jesus Christ. Genevieve lived in a stove-heated shack on the property, according to an old NY Post article, with other cult members in nearby cottages—"Members reportedly dusted regularly, and the floors were kept polished, in anticipation of Jesus’ return. Genevieve would enter for an hour or so every day and play a large pipe organ."
In a 1930s court document, the property is referred to as Chapel Farm, noting it was used for "religious retreat, training, study and literary work... It was found that the property was inadequate to secure the quiet and freedom from contact with the outside world that is essential to the earnest concentration from which a retreat derives its effectiveness." The group eventually disbanded after Genevieve's death in the late 1950s.
The house has passed through a series of hands since (at one time the property was almost used for Manhattan College dorms), and eventually Sandra Galuten purchased it in the late 1980s after it had been left untouched for over a decade. Galuten renovated the home, and declared to the Post, "Jesus would probably love [the house]. I redid it in very elegant taste."
Welcome2theBronx reports that the home, "sitting on the second highest peak in NYC," has now changed hands again, selling for $6.25 million after years on and off the market.
The 15,000-sq-ft home features 17 rooms, including a conservatory, library, cocktail lounge, hobby room, a hot tub, a barbecue pit in the kitchen, telephones in every bathroom, a wine cellar, and a fitness center, just like Jesus would have wanted.