First, I want to say I have missed writing for you, my loyal readers over the last couple of weeks. I have been up to my eyeballs in design projects and also needed to catch my breath as I go forward. I have researched and thought extensively about a lot of ideas for future posts during this time, as well as refining my ideas about my blog as I reach completion of my first year blogging. I will write more about that milestone in another post.
Today I would like to share with you a home that was the most expensive private single family home to ever hit the market in the U.S. It just sold for $120 million. The next most expensive property was sold in California for $117 million. This is an amazing property, and what thrills me the most is that, although it had been approved to be subdivided, it sold with the full 50 acres intact. When you see this home and property, I think you will agree that it should remain in a single piece. Few large homes built today have integrity, and especially history. Few homes like these are considered sellable, especially with the price tag attached. Originally the asking price was $190 million, so it sold for a lot less than the original asking price.
Known as Copper Beech Farm for the magnificent Beech trees on the property, it is located in Greenwich, CT, is on the waterfront, and for privacy reasons, the new buyer has not been disclosed, other than to say it is not a local buyer. The home has been a landmark in Greenwich for generations and was really a farm at one time with chickens, pigs, and orchards. It was built by New Yorker John Hamilton Gourlie in 1896 and originally consisted of 57 acres and at one time had grown to more than 100 acres. It changed hands in 1905 when Harriet Lauder Greenway, Andrew Carnegie’s niece purchased the home in 1905, and in 1910 or thereabouts, the Lauder-Greenway family added two wings, which was quite common during that time. The Lauder-Greenway family then began donating land to various causes, including an island donated to the town and now a popular place known as Island Beach. They even donated the ferry to get folks there.
After Harriet and Jame’s son died in 1981 the property was privately sold to John Rudey, a lumber magnate. The reason for selling now is that his children are now all grown. Back in 1981 when Mr. Rudey bought the property, he paid just $7.5 million. He also put 45 of the 50 acres into forest which handed him a tax break of about $720,000 a year. The property, according to WSJ’s Alyssa Abkowitz, is in good condition, but needs upgrades. The main kitchen is in the 7,000 sq. ft. basement, which also housed staff quarters. There are old speaking tubes from pre-electricity days. Although the majority of the value is in the land, it is hoped the new owner will not do what is typical in Greenwich and elsewhere…..tear down the house and build another mansion, and worse, divide up the land. The potential to take this home to updated and stylish exists and one can only hope that the new owner will do just that. As we say in design….this house has great bones.
The property also includes a carriage house with its own clock tower and a shingled cottage that also enjoys water views. There was a short, but beautiful video that takes you on a tour of the property so you could have really appreciated this special place, but unfortunately since the sale, it has already been removed, bummer. sources: Christie’s Int’l Real Estate, Business Insider
Getting ready for another freeze tonight and trying to save my gardens, rather what is left after this winter. Thanks for reading. Laters, charisse