As a realtor, Paula Amico knows how to search for homes, what to look for in a new home, and how to negotiate a purchase. She sells from Keller Williams Realty, Inc. But it got real, when the house of her dreams became available in 2019 in Palmyra.
Paula and her husband Tony Gabriele drove by the 1925-built Georgian Revival Home on several occasions that year. She was not able to convince him that this was to be their new home. They were living in Webster, near his business, Marina Dodge, and he seemed happy to remain there.
It wasn’t until 2021, after another buyer put the home back up for sale, that Paula again had Tony driving by, and visiting and touring the home several times.
The huge nine-bedroom, 5,688 square foot home, at 353 Canandaigua Street in Palmyra had intact the original lovliness of the former Griffith Mansion. With its beautiful brick exterior and English-style grounds, this home is stunning. It was originally was built by State Senator Henry W. Griffith for his new bride, and later later handed down to his daughter Dr. Agnes “Aggie” Griffith.
The Gabrieles purchased the home in October of 2021 and after major repainting, carpet removal and wood floor refinishing - and a great deal of detail to saving as much of the original home and fixtures as possible - Paula and Tony were married at their new home in July of 2022.
“Many people have asked if we would use the home and grounds for weddings and bed and breakfast. I assured them, that....this is not a mansion, or a public facility, it is our home,” said Paula.
Although the outside facade gives the feeling of a home too large to feel like a family home, the coziness and warmth comes through inside, but with lots of crystal chandaliers and luxurious design elements.
Each is a dedicated room - no “open concept” here. The foyer is a sunlit magical space as you enter from the back. Rooms off the long hallway take you to a grand sitting room, complete with baby grand piano and fireplace. Paula’s Italian-influence designs are perfect for the space. She has a delicous style and eye for decor.
The home boasts a grand 4-leveled staircase, which is unsual and unequaled.
Speaking of grand - the very formal dining room, sets the mood for the gradeur of the home. The dark walls are offset by a lovely floor to ceiling mural of a horse, which brightens and warms the space.
The kitchen, with its original pot filler faucet in the wall (yes - original) and ceramic sink are surrounded with black and gold finishings, island and gas range is bright and warm. The former small butler’s pantry was tranformed by removing a wall to open up the kitchen and removing the cabinet doors to allow for display area.
The architect for the renovation was Jeff Ladue and the contractors were DPH Associates.
There are 9 nine bedrooms, three of which are currently renovated. The master bedroom feels as if it is out of a hotel brochure, with an added vanity room and ensuite bath. One room is made ready for one of their daughters, Aubrie, who is currently in college at Niagara University, but comes home often. They have a blended family of 5 grown children.
The home office for Tony with huge built-in wooden bookshelves speaks to the ambiene of older times, and his “just for me” room is decorated in the mid century style of “Mad Men”.
Paula is currently planning her stand alone “changing room” for clothes and shoes, and the as-yet-unfinished attic is fully cedar lined and screams for a suana room to be added.
“We adore Palmyra,” gushed Paula. “What a warm welcome we have gotten. It is an overwhelming sense of community.”
It is a home of dreams fulfilled.