People like to plop their own miniature versions of the Palace of Versailles in many places, from Virginia suburbs to Wales. And if history has taught us anything, it's that this sort of megalomaniacal building is almost always, always a bad idea. Versailles knockoffs just don't sell: just ask billionaire developer David Siegel, whose 90,000-square-foot Floridian version is languishing on the market as an empty, incomplete shell of dreams that could have been.
Then there's this Silicon Valley iteration, featured today in the Wall Street Journal. Once listed for $21M and then PriceChopped to $13M, now the 14,600-square-foot home, built in the '20s, is headed to the auction block with no reserve. Meanwhile, just down the road, a historic Colonial trots around with an $85M price tag.
It's all quite strange, because the place actually looks quite nice: there's a 5,000-bottle wine cellar, two kitchens, a marble foyer, a ballroom (with hand-painted gold-leaf ceilings), and more, not to mention grounds and gardens sure to make Dior models giddy with glee. One practically wants to shush the broker when she says this is "a grand scale house in the old world sense. It's like Versailles." Call it the Louis curse?