The Palace of Versailles is not only one of the most famous buildings in the world, at one point the seat of political power in France, but in modern times it's also become something of a money pit for those with lots of cash to spend. In Florida, billionaire developer David Siegel had intended to turn his massive version of Versailles into a dream family home until the recession hit; strapped for cash, he was forced to list the uncompleted behemoth—the country's largest private home, in fact—for $100M. In China, Harbin Pharmaceutical Group attracted much public scrutiny when its home base was designed with the palace's gilded, opulent interiors in mind. In Wales, Kimmel Hall, the so-called "Welsh Versailles," was recently PriceChopped to $2.3M, one fifth of its original ask—astonishing considering the place has 122 rooms. And soon the DC area will have a contender in the form of a 25,000-square-footer called "Le Chateau de Lumiere."
Planned for a five-acre lot in Great Falls, Va., an affluent, manicured suburb some 30 minutes outside the capital, the five-bedroom mansion is intended to be a family home for healthcare entrepreneur Young Yi. The Washington Post recently took a detailed look at the proposal, which still needs permits to proceed; included are a wine cellar, gym, pool room, in-home theater with concession stands, spa, card room, gallery, and full-wing master suite, all contained within the "stone columns, arched windows, a curved roof and landscaping that echo the famed French palace." Naturally, Yi's soon-to-be-neighbors are none too pleased about the project, which will cost an estimated $15M to $20M to build. Said one: “I’m disappointed someone would disturb the natural beauty of Great Falls by building such a showy home here." Right, because this and this are modest?