The roughly 2,000-acre Virginia estate of the late Rachel "Bunny" Mellon has hit the market for a jaw-dropping $70M. Since Mellon passed in March at the ripe age of 103, we've seen seen more of the famed horticulturalist, art collector, and Listerine heiress's many impressive homes than we ever have before, none of which were photographed or written about at length during her lifetime, despite her well-known influence on American decorating and gardening. (In 1962, Mellon refurbished the White House Rose Garden for her pal Jackie Kennedy. She later did the landscaping of JFK's memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.) If the sprawling Upperville, Virginia, property and its 20-some residential structures went for anywhere near the current ask, it would, according to a Curbed DC commenter, more than triple the current record for the region.
As told by the Wall Street Journal, philanthropist and horse breeder Paul Mellon acquired Oak Spring Farm in 1930 from his mother. He added acreage to it afterward, and in 1941, had a roughly 10,000-square-foot Georgian mansion, known simply enough as the "Brick House," built for his first wife, who died in 1946. He and Bunny were married two years later, and had a smaller home built on the property, using the Brick House as an office, as well as a place to store and showcase the couple's large art collection, much of which was later donated to the National Gallery of Art.
The Mellon's primary residence (whose great room is pictured here) isn't part of the sale. According to the Wall Street Journal, it will be given along with a 100-acre portion of the estate to the Gerard B. Lambert Foundation, a charitable entity established by Mellon in memory of her father. What the sale does include is a pool house designed by the legendary I.M. Pei, a mile-long private airstrip, a working dairy, "extensive equestrian stables," and a collection of guest houses and staff accommodations, along with "extensive gardens and greenhouses and other outbuildings." There's also, it's worth noting, a statue commemorating Kentucky Derby Winner Sea Hero, one of Mr. Mellon's thoroughbreds.
According to the listing, the Brick House, which is the most likely contender for a new main house (with the adorable little red guardhouse coming in at a close second), has five bedrooms, three full baths, and two half-baths. Alex Forger, a family friend and an executor of Ms. Mellon's estate, tells the Journal that the clock tower, garage, and other small brick buildings surrounding it make the home feel like "its own little village." Forger also notes that the structure will likely require some renovations to return it to residential use.