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Location: Shelter Island, N.Y.
The Skinny: When your vacation home has 40 rooms and 23,000 square feet of living space, it might be a challenge to fill it all. Not so for hedge funder and East End conservationist Marco Birch and his wife, Katherine. The pair decided spice up the basement bar in their Shelter Island summer home with the addition of a stripper pole, complete with illuminated dance-floor. That rocking bar area is also outfitted with a projection screen, curtained VIP room, a serious sound system, and, at least at the time the listing photos were snapped, a pair of bongo drums, perhaps for Andy Kaufman-style comedy routines. The presence of this raunchy downstairs club is made all the more absurd by the buttoned-up interiors in the rest of the shingle-style sprawler, where old-timey maps line the dining room and wood-paneling abounds. Thankfully, there is room for a whole party's worth of guests, with ten bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, and plenty to appease those squeamish about the stripping, like a squash court, a swimming pool, a tennis court, and a 100-foot deep water dock, all on 7.5 private acres. The only hangup might be the $28.5M price tag, but buyers can feel better knowing that the Birch family donated a much larger tract of surrounding land to conservation, so future neighbors won't be peeking in on the party. UPDATE: A spokesman brings word that the "basement does have a club in it and there is a pole ... but it's never been used as a 'strip club' [...] The couple mainly uses the room to host fundraisers for the likes of The Nature Conservancy, an organization for battered women, local food pantries and many others."
· Shelter Island Waterfront Crown Jewel [Sotheby's International Realty via Zillow]