SELLER: Estate of Howard Gittis
LOCATION: Via Palma, Palm Beach, FL
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.