Published: November 27, 2013
Petra Island, It would have been interesting to have Angelina Jolie and her family as local residents.
Her father, Jon Voight, is a native, having grown up in Yonkers and graduated from Stepinac High School, so it wouldn’t have been too far-fetched to believe that the Hollywood actress had bought a heart-shaped island in the middle of a Putnam County lake as a 50th birthday present for her longtime partner, Brad Pitt.
Although Jolie’s purchase of Lake Mahopac’s Petra Island hasn’t been officially confirmed or denied, it fueled endless online speculation Monday after being reported by a British tabloid.
Petra Island is a private 11 acre-island that boasts a dramatic cantilevered house built in 2007. The house is based on designs drawn for the space by famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1950s. Pitt is a huge fan of Wright’s work, lending fuel to the frenzy that the Jolie-Pitts would soon have a 10541 ZIP code.
The island is owned by Mahopac resident Joseph Massaro and his wife, Barbara. The couple bought the island in 1991 and then discovered Wright’s plans for an unbuilt main house in a drawer in a cottage and decided to take on the task. While the Mahopac house is not an original Wright, it is based on those plans with updated features to enhance stability and acknowledge current materials.
Joe Massaro’s daughter, Donna Massaro, said Monday that her father was traveling outside the country and was not reachable. She emphatically said she hadn’t heard of any deal with Pitt or Jolie.
Direct calls to the father were not immediately answered.
The daughter said she was interviewed Monday by the television show “Extra,” which was following up on the rumors.
“It’s not true at all,” Massaro, owner of The Freight House Café in Mahopac, told The Journal News. “But having them here could bring some customers to The Freight House.”
She commented on the Mirror’s story that “Angelina Jolie has never been there (although she is welcome anytime).”
The island has its own helicopter pad and it just a 15-minute helicopter ride from Manhattan, noted the website Curbed.com. And the neighbors aren’t bad either: Former Yankee manager Joe Torre still owns a lakefront property there. Henry Winkler, also known as “The Fonz,” lived there as a youngster and novelist Richard Yates is said to have written parts of “Revolutionary Road” while living in a nearby cottage.