By now, most of us know the story of the famed Grey Gardens estate. It was once owned by an eccentric mother and her daughter, who found themselves living alone in a decrepit house with their dozens (hundreds?) of cats, while the walls were literally crumbling around them. They were a family that most likely would have gone unnoticed but for the fact that they were the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who herself once made an attempt to salvage the decaying property. We all know the house was eventually sold / condemned after the death of the "Big Edie" but what I didn't know was what happened with the house after the sale.
My interest was piqued yesterday after I saw that the house was recently listed for the first time since it was purchased from "Little Edie" some 40 years ago for around $200 thousand dollars (the current sale price is almost 20 million). I found this great article which details what it took to restore this home, and as you can see, it was a lot more than paint as first suggested by Little Edie to the new owners. I can't imagine what it would be to own such an iconic piece of real estate, and I find it so exciting to get this little peek inside a property which carries so much history in its bones.
First, here is a look back at the estate when the Beales where living there. I actually find it hard to look at these images some 50 years later knowing what we do now about mental illness.
And here is the property as it stands today. It seems to be staged, but I found this piece from Architectural Digest which shows what it looked like when it was fully inhabited by the current owners.
Quite a difference, right?
I'm not sure who buys 20 million dollar properties, but wouldn't you love to see this home bought by someone on the younger side? I would love to see what this property could look like if it was updated by a modern designer. The grounds are immaculate and I feel like you could do so much with the home. Of course, you'd have to bring in some florals as a nod to the previous owners, but I'd love to see this space again given life for another generation by bringing in some elements from this decade. There is such a great opportunity to meld the past and present here and I am very envoious that soon another family is going to be able to call this place home! Xx