Photo by Annie Watts
Perfume bottle designer Marc Rosen shares stories of the couple’s Sparkill home, where he married legendary actress Arlene Dahl.
Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen have lived in their distinguished Victorian home, Treetops, for more than 30 years. During that time, the couple has hosted countless events, parties, and houseguests — charming Hollywood’s elite with Treetops’ homey and glamorous atmosphere.
Now that the 3,830-square-foot abode is on the market for $6.5 million, Hudson Valley touched base with Rosen for a first-hand account of the home’s illustrious past.
What led you to purchase the home? What was the appeal to you and Arlene?
I found it by accident. A friend of mine bought a house on Rockland Road in Sparkill and I was going to visit him for the first time. I saw a little sign at the end of the road that said Treetops. In those days, there were a lot of day camps and Treetops sounded like the name of a day camp. Since I was early, I drove to see what it looked like, and I was embarrassed to find it was a residence.
As I drove around the house to leave, I was fascinated by the historic architecture. Later, I checked the real estate section in the paper for that area and saw it was on the market. When I showed Arlene the house, she said it looked like a church.
We got married on that property soon after. And to think, I had no plans to buy a house in the first place!
Can you tell us about some parties that stand out?
One event we had was a fundraiser for the Tappan Zee Playhouse. One day, I saw people selling plastic flowers to raise money to restore the Playhouse. After being in the cosmetic business and attending many fundraising events, I knew they wouldn’t sell enough plastic flowers to restore the building. Arlene and I offered our house, and we had a huge fundraiser. It was a Victorian costume party, and everyone rented clothes. We had tremendous press all over the world from this party.
We also used to have a rather popular Christmas party every year for many years. I decorated the house top to bottom. Since Arlene is Norwegian, we would get authentic Norwegian food, a huge smorgasbord, and lots of champagne. There was always someone playing the piano. Some past guests included Brooke Shields, Liza Minelli, Jane Powell, and Van Johnson. Everyone who visited came to love the house.