Monday, October 20, 2008
Ambassador and Mrs. Shriver List Potomac Estate
SELLERS: Ambassador Robert Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver
LOCATION: Harrington Drive, Potomac, MD
SIZE: 15,500 square feet (approx.), 10 bedrooms, 11 full and 1 half bathroom
DESCRIPTION: Handsome 16,000 Sq Ft Residence set on 6.84 acres in Bradley Farms. Featuring stately principal rooms, 10 BRs, 11 Full & 1 half BAs. Tennis Court, Pool, Pool House, 4-car garage and meticulously landscaped grounds.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Early this morning, before the sun was even shining, Your Mama received a communique from Henry Helpsalot who linked us over to an article reporting the recent listing of a colossal Colonial Revival style mansion in Potomac, Maryland owned and being sold by Ambassador Robert Sargent Shriver and his wifey of 55 years Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The Shriver's lavish shack is located in the Bradley Farms area of Potomac where big money and political power mix freely. The 10 bedroom and 11.5 bathroom behemoth is listed at $11,800,000.
In addition to being an ambassador to France in the late 1960s, Ambassador Shriver helped found the Peace Corps and was once a time Democratic Vice Presidential candidate. Missus Kennedy Shriver was born into the politically powerful and clannish Kennedy tribe, helped found the Special Olympics and is, as the children surely know, the mother of California's current first lady Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger.
At first glance, the Shriver family seat appears to have a well worn patina of generations of living. However, listing information for the 6.84 acre estate on hoity toity Harrington Drive reveals that Ambassador and Missus Shriver actually built their dignified digs in 1986. Designed by Smith Blackburn Architects and measuring in at a boo-teek hotel sized 15,500 square feet (approx.), the stately mansion offers plenty of space for hosting charity events, wining and dining powerful politicos and housing heaps and hordes of extended family during the holidays.
A little look-see at the floor plan reveals a bowling alley style entrance hall where with a swooping Scarlett O'Hara worthy circular stair case that serves three of the four floors. Your Mama is please to see that an elevator has also been installed that services the lower level (read basement and the two main living floors. Apparently all the guest staying on the third can suck it when it comes to huffing and puffing up to bed after a long night of cocktails and crudité with the who's who of Washington.
The public rooms, with their gorgeous shiny wood floors, high ceilings and classic details, include a 32-foot long living room with a large fireplace and an adjacent wet bar. A large sitting room beyond the living room provides more entertaining space and a photo strewn grand piano for all those family singalongs that everyone hates but pretends to enjoy. The library has a second fireplace and another, much large wet bar which will certainly delight all the boozier types out there. The banquet hall sized dining room stretches 32 feet, features a third fireplace and each of the four corners of the room have display niches for showing off the family knick-knacks.
The cooking staff will certainly appreciate the nearly 400 square foot kitchen that includes two large walk in pantries, one larger than most bodegas in New York City. The adjacent octagonal breakfast room is sufficiently separate from the kitchen that one need not be bothered by the chef clanking pots and pans or running the dishwasher.
The second floor includes five en-suite bedrooms all of which have access to one of the four balconies. The master bedroom includes a private study, a large dressing room and bathroom. The third level, tucked up into the roof and not accessible by the elevator, has three more bedrooms, each with their own private pooper. Also on this level are two utility areas, a large walk in cedar closet for storing out of season fashions and six other storage rooms for hiding away all the family heirlooms and unwanted gifts. Presumably this is where all the Shriver and Kennedy children were put up when they were visiting.
The lowest level, which is really the basement, includes a 900+ square foot windowless family/recreation room, an exercise room with bathroom and a staff suite that includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sitting room, office, a couple of storage rooms and laundry facilities.
The Shriver day-core is pretty much what one would expect from old people with old (for America) money. Sorta Bunny Williams with a little Mario Buatta mixed in with dignified early American antiques and a truckload of artwork and framed documents thrown up willy-nilly on the mostly white walls. It ain't Your Mama's decorative cup of tea, but for a house this large it does look fairly comfortable and well lived in.
The grounds include a long driveway terminating in a circular driveway large enough to park all the Kennedy cars, a four car detached garage plus additional parking, acres of rolling lawns for tossing the pigskin or potato sack racing, a tree shaded tennis court with lights for late night mixed double tournaments, a large in ground swimming pool with an adjacent pavilion for getting out of the sunshine.
Although it is widely reported that Ambassador Shriver suffers from Alzheimer's and sometimes does not recognize his family and loved ones, the Shriver family has reportedly chosen to sell the family house because the elder Shrivers have been enjoying spending increased time with their family in Hyannis Port, Los Angeles and Miami.