Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Howard Gittis Double Whammy: Palm Beach

SELLER: Estate of Howard Gittis
LOCATION: Via Palma, Palm Beach, FL
PRICE: $23,500,000
SIZE: 12,620 square feet, 6 bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama was tuckered out and tired of looking at uglee damn houses filled with uglee ass furniture and a barn full of cheap tchotchke. We need some pretty this morning so we're headed down to Palm Beach where the richest of the rich hob nob and lay around their palm tree lined pools wearing Lily Pulitzer shifts and plastic sandals drinking cocktails at noon prepared by a sexy young houseman named Carlos.

The palatial and perfectly decorated property we're going to discuss today belonged to a screamingly rich man of bizness named Howard Gittis. Mister Gittis went to meet his maker in September of 2007, and now his collection of glammy residences in glitzy locales are being sold off at exorbitant prices. Your Mama can forgive the children for not knowing who this Mister Gittis is, or more accurately was, all due respect, so let Your Mama educate y'all in 5 seconds or less. Howard Gittis was one of the closest advisers and bizness partner to billionaire bizness man Ronald Perlman. Blam. He may not have been as rich as ol' Revlon Ron, but he could certainly afford multiple and lavish residences filled with ridiculously expensive furniture with punishing pedigrees and an even more impressive and expensive collection of contemporary artwork.

Property records reveal that Mister Gittis purchased this waterfront estate in July 0f 2001 for $9,950,000. The house was originally designed and built in 1952 by vaunted Palm Beach society architect Marian Sims Wyeth, who y'all will surely recall had a hand in the mix at designing Marjorie Merriweather Post's winter residence Mar-a-Lago (now owned by cotton candy haired Donald Trump). Mister Gittis' winter getaway, just a few blocks north of Mar-a-Lago, is currently listed at $23,500,000, approximately 2.5 times what the savvy investor paid for the house just 6 years ago.

Although property records indicate the symmetrical Georgian style house measures just 5,997 square feet, listing information shows it sprawls across 12,620 (approx.) square feet with 6 bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms. The main house includes an elegant foyer, library, office, living and dining rooms and a loggia surrounded by arched glass French doors. The kitchen, breakfast room, a home gym and a children's or staff bedroom occupy a wing at the back of the house. Upstairs four guest rooms flank the dee-luxe master suite that includes a sitting room, fireplace, two bathrooms and dressing rooms, and a drop down projection screen (perfect for those dirty movie nights). A private veranda overlooks the swimming pool, the sculpture dotted expanse of well watered green grass and the Intracoastal Waterway.

The lush and meticulously manicured grounds include the main house with circular drive, a semi-detached garage and a waterside pool cabana that functions as a guest house and media room. A small dock accommodates a small yacht and the gardens on the east side of the property feature a small forest of metal Bertoia trees.

Although the interiors of this house are far more serious than Your Mama would want for our own weekend residence, it should be clear to anyone with eyes that Mister Gittis and his team of decorators had an obvious eye for pedigree, a solid desire to merge the traditional with the contemporary and pockets deep enough to shop wherever their hearts desired. Your Mama would discuss the glass banister in the foyer, the to die for Karl Springer dining room table or the George Nakashima coffee table in the loggia, but we just can't seem to take our eyes off the stellar contemporary art collection.

The children will note theDamien Hirst spin painting over the fireplace in the dining room and the large Peter Halley behind the beige sofa in the living room. All that beige is just fine with Your Mama when juxtaposed with a color cornucopia like that. You can also spy a sliver of a glossy Gary Hume on the back wall of the loggia and did you see that dee-voon Lucite canoe hanging from the ceiling? Oh look over there, a Willem de Kooning painting hangs over the fireplace the master bedroom and out in the yard sit several more sculptures including a miniature version of Alamo, the massive Tony Rosenthal sculpture that has stood in Manhattan's Astor Place since 1967.

According to other reports, also sprinkled around the house are several Warhols, a Picasso, a few Fernando Boteros and at least one Louise Nevelson sculpture. Jeezis Mary and Joseph, a tour through this house is like going to the damn Museum of Modern Art. Your Mama imagines all the bigwigs from the Sotheby's and Christie's auction houses are beating down the door to the executor to Mister Gittis' estate trying to get their hands on all that art.

Mister Gittis' people have also listed his tremendous and scenic Southampton, NY estate. Your Mama will discuss that 13 acre piece of Hamptons real estate pornography on Ox Pasture Road later today.

In closing, Your Mama offers sincere condolences to all those who knew and loved Mister Gittis, his spectacularly furnished houses and his enviable art collection.

26 comments:

lil' gay boy said...

What a lovely, timeless blend of old and new - perfect balance and proportion accented with wildly expensive art.

Seems a shame that it will probably be auctioned off separately, as every piece looks like it belongs in situ.

Reminds me a little of Greentree, the stunning Whitney estate in Manhasset, LI I got to visit a few years back as the guest of Betsey, widow of the fabulously wealthy Jock.

Ah, wealth.

so_chic_darling said...

Just when you thought that all rich Americans must be vulgar and tacky along comes this.There is only one word needed.WOW.

Anonymous said...

Mama I once again agree with you...a beautiful home and well executed. But I wonder...shouldn't a home also, at the very least, acknowledge place? There's nothing I see in the photos that gives any idea the house is in Florida until you look out the windows. Now, don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying the house should be full of sawgrass, sand and have a tiki wetbar...but the house strikes me as waaaay too serious ( as you pointed out) for an occasional home.
Peace
JD

pch said...

Not a fan of the Stern-ish addition with all those flattened fanlights, but otherwise -- wowza.

aunt mary said...

Heaven must look like this.

Anonymous said...

Not my idea of heaven until the appalling curtains (drapes) are replaced. They look like lengths of tweed straight off the fabric roll. Not a decent pelmet in any of the public rooms! So ugly! Only in the bedroom are they gathered correctly and properly headed. The sofas are elegant though.

Little Miss Sunshine said...

I aspire to lay around a palm tree lined pool wearing Lily Pulitzer shifts and plastic sandals drinking cocktails at noon prepared by a sexy young houseman named Carlos...only if my house can look like this. This is spectacular!!!!

caveman said...

not my bottle of beer, but it ok.
i would rip out every curtain & uncomfortable chair before i moved in tho.
looks like the damn whitehouse.

lil' gay boy said...

BTW Mama, I just wanted to say thank you for the lovely birthday present!

Yes folks, after all the pre-celebrations, the day has finally arrived; and yes I do share the privilege with that antithesis of taste.

Elvis.

The King.

But that's alright because I'm still the Queen - so hurry up Mama and send Carlos over so I can unwrap him . . .

Viva! said...

I've just had the real estate equivalent of nirvana. This is a beautiful house.

CEO, Stagers to the Stars said...

Dear 9:20,

Hells bells! I’m delighted someone besides my rising star, “Staging Lady with a Toyota,” appreciates my newsletters; specifically my Dec. 2007 “Decorating Dos and Don’ts,” featuring: “Who Need Texture? We Don’t” and “Jiffy Curtain Valances on a Budget.”

If you were disturbed by Our Mama’s other images, I rest my case with these additional pics. What were they thinking?

http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/content/realestate/Koch_Palma_Cabana.htm

http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/content/realestate/Koch_Palma_LR_1.html

http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/content/realestate/Koch_Palma_Loggia_to_DR.html

Hippie Canyon said...

Hate the house (too Edwardian for moi), but love the interior design. The art is FABulous, the furnishings nearly perfect... especially the black (?) sofas. Yes, I said black sofas. Try as I may to get out of that habit, I still find them attractive. Now, L'GB, can you have Carlos get me a dirty martini? Have him use that big vase in the gallery upstairs instead of one of those tiny glasses behind the bar. I need a stiffy after seeing those typical PB photos provided by CEO. I can almost hear the photogs from Town & Country clicking away now. "Oh Bunny, so gewd to sssseee you. MWAH (big kiss)!"

lil' gay boy said...

I see the Louise Nevelson sculpture in the last image - anyone recognize it or know its title?

Sandpiper said...

This is truely magnificent. Thank you Mama.

lil' gay boy said...

hippie canyon, will that be one straw or two?

The tiny glasses behind the bar are for, um, samples.

sandpiper said...

Little Buddy ... I think this your question on this piece is a little too esoteric for the likes of us. Any of us could make up anything, and nobody would be the wiser. You wanna go for it? Whatever you come up with, I'll say I have the second in that series, okay? Let's wait a few posts, so nobody notices. LOL

lil' gay boy said...

I've always loved Nevelson's work - I was just wondering if it was well known, or perhaps a privately commissioned piece.

aunt mary said...

Anon 9:20, I'm taking your post under advisement, as you have resurrected all the curtain bugaboos that I've been wrestling with. We won't go into puddling to everyone's relief I'm sure. But the issue of pelmets or valances is torturous. In the case of this house you don't want to detract from the beautiful mouldings nor cover them. But I agree that those loooooonnnnng curtains seem decapitated without a header of some kind. Ohh, the anguish! And to think there are silly people out there worrying about world peace and armagedon!

lucy said...

I'm not fond of the decorating on both of his houses....but my God, the art!

Holy, fucking shit.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of modern art and sorry but I like none of it in this house. I can say that I think the decorators did a fine job. Like Mama said, yours eyes just gravitate to those pieces.

Anonymous said...

STUNNING. LOVES.

Anonymous said...

I like the exterior more than the interior, and the french doors. Everyone loves french doors.

Anonymous said...

...I don't love french doors...

Anonymous said...

Perfection. Absolute perfection.

euphoriquensc said...

nice house, too bad it's in Palm Beach...what a bland, boring town....

Anonymous said...

I loved Howard so screw most of you. Materialistic assholes