Another week begins, another monstrously-priced estate in hyper-affluent Greenwich, Conn., hits the market. The onetime manor of late businesswoman and "Queen of Mean" Leona Helmsley just hit the market for $65M. It's been four years since Helmsley's estate last changed hands; in 2010, the 40-acre property sold for $35M, which, at the time, was one of the most moneyed deals ever for Greenwich, despite being nowhere near the estate's initial $125M ask (or, for that matter, the current record-holder, Copper Beech Farm, which sold for $120M). Not a year after buying it, the new owners (whose identities remain undisclosed) had "a change of plans," as the Wall Street Journal reports, and relisted it for $43M. There were no takers, so the owners spent the last few years siphoning cash into a total renovation.
If one asks the Greenwich Historical Society, the manor, before the renovation, was "one of the last intact historic estates left" in town. Dunnellen Hall was built in 1918 by NYC finance guy Daniel G. Reid as a present for his daughter. The Helmsleys bought it in 1983 for $11M, spending holidays there until Helmsley's death in 2007.
According to the listing agent interviewed by the Journal, the renovation "took it from looking like a museum to becoming a home." What does that mean? The utter removal of some of the manors wings—the 17,000-square-foot structure used to measure about 23,000 square feet—and the reconstruction of its Ludowici tile roof. There's also a new kitchen, staircase, and custom plaster work.
As far as details of grandeur go, it's easy to start and end at the limestone. The entrance room has got limestone walls and new Bourgogne limestone floors. Limestone continues into the center hall, which boasts an antique fireplace and "a magestic curving stairway and three sets of French doors," according to the listing. The 45-foot-tall living room comes with a Neo-Gothic Romanesque limestone fireplace (the floors are teak). The gallery hall boasts teak herringbone floors and "south-facig windows to the breathtaking vista," according to the listing, while the master suite includes a fireplace and views of the Long Island Sound.
The estate has nine bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. Word is out whether (or to what extent) the circa-1983 dance floor, which the Helmsleys spent $1M to create, has been preserved. Photos, below:
· Leona Helmsley's Former Estate Lists for $65M [WSJ]
· Leona Helmsley Estate [David Ogilvy]
· All Greenwich coverage [Curbed National]