There are few properties in the US which attract the same kind of attention as that afforded to Grey Gardens. This property is situated in East Hampton, New York and was renowned as a place for the rich and famous back in the 1920s and 1930s. It once boasted residents such as Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Big Edie and Little Edie Beale. This was the place to be but back in the 1970s it fell into such ill repair that it became the focal point of a very popular documentary.
What does Grey Gardens boast?
Aside from the fact that the property offers 6000 ft.² on 1.7 acres of land within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean, it also has 10 bedrooms and, wait for it, 7.5 baths. Quite how you get half a bath is debatable but this may well be an intriguing sales strategy. When you bear in mind the history which this particular property has it was disappointing to say the least when it fell into disrepair. Filmmakers Albert and David Maysles were alerted to the “squalor” into which Grey Gardens had fallen and bizarrely the Beales allowed the filmmakers to put together a documentary.
The documentary caught the full squalor including raccoons, cats and the filth which followed the wild life. Amazingly, this cult documentary was used as the basis for a Broadway musical and a popular HBO film.
Resisting Grey Gardens
When journalist Sally Quinn and her husband Ben Bradlee covered the story of the state of the property it was Sally Quinn who saw the potential. Initially her husband was put off the property due to his severe allergy to cats which was brought about by the unwelcome inhabitants. Initially he told his wife there was no way they would acquire the property but in 1979 she did just that.
The property was initially acquired for a sum of $220,000 although we can only speculate about the cost of the renovations which took one year to complete. What we do know is that the renovations brought the property back to where it was in its 1930s heyday. This was by no means a “flashy property” but it was a very comfortable property, with excesses of light through the many windows and of course its own swimming pool. So, once the property was renovated and brought back to its former glory what might somebody be willing to pay?
Nearly 40 years after the property was acquired, and with significant renovations, it is now on the market for the princely sum of $20 million. While there are many famous properties available throughout the US non-has quite the same history and reputation as Grey Gardens. Under the watchful eye of Sally Quinn and her husband Ben Bradlee this property was slowly brought back to its former glory.
Assuming that the asking price of $20 million is achieved the couple will bank a significant profit on their initial $220,000 outlay – with renovations on top. Will there be demand for this iconic property? Is $20 million a fair price? We will see very soon!