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Location: Fort Washington, Penn.
The Skinny: Most homebuyers would consider the $30M price tag on this suburban Philadelphia estate an astronomical sum to pay for a property, but not credit card tycoon Dennis Alter. He spent an estimated $80M to build and furnish this 40,000-square-foot house. Alter, whose fortunes rose and fell with those of the troubled credit card issuer Advanta, famously engaged in a lawsuit against New York-based designers-to-the-stars Stephen Sills and James Huniford, alleging they bilked him out of $6M by overcharging for antiques. Now the home they quibbled over, a modern mansion on 70 acres that includes such extravagances as an indoor tennis court, is on offer for $50M less than Alter spent building it. Chances are none of Advanta's former customers, many of whom claim the company did some scamming of its own, will shed a tear should this sprawling estate see further price cuts before it sells.
· The Alter Estate [Christie's]
· Dennis Alter and the Tragedy of Advanta [Philadelphia Magazine]
· Decorators in the Haute Seat [NY Mag]