After spending five months behind bars after a conviction on insider trading charges, lifestyle entertainment icon Martha Stewart was released eight years ago today. Since then, and perhaps as a reaction to the cramped environment of a prison cell, she has lived in more high-dollar properties than most millionaires think about in a lifetime, and eyed even more. The cream of the crop is Skylands, a 35,000-square-foot stone mansion in compound on Maine's Mount Desert Island. Originally constructed for auto heir Edsel Ford, the estate was designed by the New York-based Duncan Candler in 1925, with landscape design by Danish master Jens Jensen. Stewart purchased in 1997, after attending a dinner party and hearing that the then-owner was interested in selling, and set about restoring the house, adding a fleet of walk-in refrigerators, and revitalizing the storied landscape. The compound includes a guest cottage, a play house with an indoor squash court, mechanics' garage, greenhouse, stable and a 200-seat Catholic church, and came completely furnished, right down to an "air-conditioned wine cellar [...] fully stocked with a collection of 1982 Bordeaux."
Photos: Martha Moments
? These days, Stewart spends much of her time at her 153-acre Westchester horse farm, which she dubbed Cantitoe Corners. Purchased in 2000, the estate is home to a collection of historic and modern properties. Stewart occupies the so-called "Winter House," a 1925 farmhouse which was expanded in 2001 by architect Allen Greenberg. According to reports, the decorating doyenne is set on creating a self-sustaining American farm out of the property, something she had tried to do at her famous Turkey Hill home in Connecticut, but her plot there was simply too small. Space doesn't seem to be an issue here in Bedford.
Photos: The Martha Blog
? In 1990, shortly after her divorce from publisher Andy Stewart, Martha paid $1.7M for a quaint shingled "cottage" on East Hampton's posh Lily Pond Lane. Today, the colorfully-trimmed mansion looks like a stately test bed for new Martha paint colors and is frequently photographed for Stewart's many media interests. Recently, a buildable lot (with small existing carriage house) next door sold for close to $5M, so Stewart's pad has assuredly increased in value many times, nevermind the celebrity bump that a Stewart listing would receive.
? Given Martha's affinity for traditional decor, it may come as something of a shock that in 2007 she spent $35M on combined units at 173 Perry Street, one of a trio of glassy towers on the Hudson River in Manhattan, designed by starchitect Richard Meier. It was a return to the neighborhood for Martha, who had purchased the duplex penthouse in another of the glass towers in the early aughts, but sold off before her imprisonment. The massive 2007 buy totalled 11,000 square feet over three floors and according to the Real Estalker, architect Annabelle Selldorf was tapped to redesign.
? Despite the big downtown buy, Stewart has repeatedly been connected to some major uptown real estate offerings, in particular, the former 42-room apartment of reclusive heiress Huguette Clark. Martha already kept a one-bedroom flat in the same building, but was apparently looking to scale up ... considerably, as the trio of uncombined Clark units totalled 15,000 square feet. Stewart went so far as to bake cream puffs for the then-aging heiress, but they were returned by her staff. The apartments all later sold to other buyers.
· Skylands [Martha Moments]
· Cantitoe Corners [Martha Moments]
· My Gardens in East Hampton and Places I Walk [The Martha Blog]
· Lily Pond Lane Tour [Martha Moments]
· Alexis Stewart, Space Hog [The Real Estalker]
· Apple Picking [NY Post]
· Martha Stewart Eyeing Heiress's 42-Room Fifth Avenue Pad? [Curbed NY]