A 5.5-acre estate on the shores of Lake Tahoe that was formerly the property of the famous recluse that was formerly the richest man in the world, Howard Hughes, has been on the market at $19.5 million since June. As if to hint that the estate's privacy is enough for even the most discerning one-percenter, the realtor assured us in their press release that at the time when Hughes purchased this Adirondack-style log cabin in the '50s, he was already "fairly reclusive." But it did come equipped with a walk-down pier and buoy, from which Hughes would mount his water-born escapes across the lake to Thunderbird Lodge, the home of fellow recluse and magnate George Whittell, to play cards and admire his elephant. The same press release mentions rumors about a red light Whittell would switch on when his wife wasn't around, "serving as beacon for men to come over for drinking, fast women, cards, and carousing."
Back on the West side of the lake and near the legendary seediness of Frank Sinatra's Cal Neva Resort, Hughes' property still consists of the original 2,518 square foot main house that was built in the '30s, along with a 1,343 square foot guest house and detached four-car garage. The current owner is Bruce James, the former Public Printer of the US, who's responsible for printing government stuff like passports and Supreme Court decisions. He and wife Nora bought the place from the Howard Hughes Corporation in '95 for $3.5 million, and added a hot tub.
· Former Howard Hughes estate lists for $19.5 million [Wall Street Journal]
· Summertide - $19,500,000 [Chase International]