The brand-new, Alice Walton-funded Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (above, model) recently opened in Bentonville, Ark., the remote Southern town that's home to WalMart's headquarters. In art circles, the place has taken quite a battering from critics, who accuse Walton of secreting away some of America's great artwork in a hard-to-reach locale. Well, if the whiners really want to get closer to the art, maybe they'll invest in some of Bentonville's luxury real estate, most of which has probably passed exclusively between WalMart execs for years. The local offerings might not have the architecture of the Moshe Safdie-designed museum, but they're a hell of a lot cheaper: Alice and the Walton Family Foundation have already pledged more than $1B to support the museum.
? Currently Bentonville's most expensive listed house, this 12,000-square-foot mansion sits atop a sprawling 50-acre plot less than two miles from the museum. The interiors aren't quite museum-quality—the alternating bold purple and bland beige color schemes see to that—so apparently the space is enough to justify a $4.5M price. There's no word on who the deep-pocketed owner is, but perhaps the knock-off Warhols in the billiards room will provide a hint.
? Exquisitely and extensively photographed—check out the listing for 60 photos—this Bentonville spread lacks massive acreage, but it still sits on a respectable 3.85-acre plot. The lack of elbow room has brought the price down substantially, to $1.19M. That price includes 6,500 square feet, five bedrooms, a sun room, a game room, and a swimming pool with pool house.
? For something unique, check out this '60s stone structure, designed by E. Fay Jones. The period feel has, for better or worse, been well preserved, including countertops, light fixtures, and built-ins. The highlight is a two-story room with floor-to-ceiling windows, the stacked stone walls, and an indoor swimming pool. While the scent of chlorine might not be to everyone's taste, the price isn't bad for a 16-acre wooden plot and oddball house. This groovy pad is listed for $1.4M.
? Next to that last curvaceous stone structure, this McMansion looks positively standard, but it wins out on modern amenities, like a chef's kitchen, wine cellar, media room, and a guest house. The 8,500-square-foot house suffers in the architecture department, but that doesn't keep the price from going to $1.3M. Luckily, it's "minutes to Wal-Mart H.Q."
? This last house offers buyers the change to "LIVE IN LUXURY!" without paying WalMart exec prices. Listed for $425K, the 3,800-square-foot brick manse is decked out on the inside, with replica moldings, chandeliers, frilly curtains, and the like, but, instead of sitting on some sprawling property, it's shoehorned into a plot in a development. Let's call it the Kmart version.
· Crystal Bridges in Arkansas: A world-class museum from the land of Wal-Mart [WaPo]
· 1501 NE Mccollum Dr [Zillow]
· An Atlanta Business Legend is Okay With The Observant Knowing That His Gigantic House is For Sale [Curbed Atlanta]
· 10963 Kennesaw Drive [Homes.com]
· Surprises await you [Luxury Portfolio]
· 11229 Talamore Blvd [Homes.com]
· 3201 Hanna Ln [Homes.com]