Albert Maysles, the documentary filmmaker who along with his brother, David, introduced the world to two fascinating socialites-turned-recluses living in a ruined Hamptons estate in his 1975 film "Grey Gardens," died yesterday at the age of 88. With "Grey Gardens," named after the once-fine mansion that Edith Bouvier and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale inhabited, the Maysles' created a captivating, empathetic snapshot of the women behind one of the first —and still one of the most sensational—hoarding stories in American popular culture. Here, a look back at how Curbed has covered the legendary house, from its lengthy restoration to its subsequent owners.
'Big Edie' and 'Little Edie' were not the only illustrious residents of Grey Gardens. Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee moved in the same circles as the women's famous cousin, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and ended up buying the decrepit East Hampton mansion with his wife for $220K in 1979. The couple promised to restore Grey Gardens to its former splendor. It was a huge challenge. Right after purchasing it, the Bradlees went to visit their new summer home and were greeted with 52 dead cats, a ceiling that had caved in, and fully rotted fixtures. After a years-long renovation, the turn-of-the-century estate was finally ready to be inhabited. Here's what it looked like, post-renovation:
Photos of Grey Gardens after its restoration via Curbed Hamptons
· All Grey Gardens coverage [Curbed Hamptons]
· Albert Maysles, Pioneering Documentarian, Dies at 88 [New York Times]
· Restoring the Beauty of Grey Gardens in East Hampton [Architectural Digest]