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
PRICE: $11,800,000
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.

23 comments:

Kath Day-Knight said...

I think that this is one of the nicest houses of this size that I have ever seen, and it really does shout it out by the lungbucketful that it is a warm and inviting family home that could tell a thousand happy stories. It is not at all staged like some of the properties we read about. I actually feel that I would be welcomed in this house. Lovely.

Anonymous said...

Mama are you certain the house was built in 1986?
Looks a bit older then that.

Tracy said...

Interesting that the only toilets available to staff are connected to the basement bedrooms. I guess day and catering staff are not allowed to poop in the house.

Anonymous said...

Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter - Altman)lives right across the street from the Shrivers.

Amanda Muggleton said...

Wonder Woman? I used to love it when she deflected the baddies bullets with her gold wristbands adn twirled like a whirling dirvish to get into her WW garb. A corker of a show. And her salary paid for a super-swank home in Potomac? Makes me wonder where the guys from CHIPS live - they were hot.

Anonymous said...

Mama, I can't thank you enough for this floor plan porn!

TheVinylvillager said...

They have done an excellent job of making the fairly-new house seem old. I agree with the other poster and our mama that, for such a colossal mansion, it seems very comfortable. I wouldnt mind hanging my hat there.

Anonymous said...

Amanda, I suspect Carter being able to afford next door to the Shrivers has more to do with marrying well. Wonder Woman was only on the air for 3 seasons.

Her husband was in banking, now is chairman & CEO of a computer and video game company.

Anonymous said...

MAMA!! WHY IN THE WORLD DID YOU LABEL THIS POST WITH A "C"!!??

NYCboy said...

I absolutely love this house!
This would be a perfect summer home for a large family.

Anonymous said...

I agree with those who feel that for a massive house, this is very homey and "real" feeling. Traditional but not stuffy. Love it!

For this drought-suffering Bay Area gal, the shot of the house on that beautiful green expanse leaves me green with envy!!

David said...

It looks like all those third-level storage rooms have a low and slanting ceiling, as the all third-level windows are gables. What fun for the children, then - to squeeze in for a long night in a sleeping bag, surrounded by old christmas decorations and extra rolls of insulation. And then when they wake up from a nightmare and straight straight up - BAM! They've conked their noodle. Good times.

Connie Lingus said...

David, r u on drugs?

Anonymous said...

Is this the house that was in "Wedding Crashers"?

Anonymous said...

Is this the house that was in "Wedding Crashers"?

Anonymous said...

I live in Potomac and I think it's a fantastic house, hidden by a huge grass burn instead of a hideous fence.

It is not the house in Wedding Crashers - the house you are referring to is on the Eastern Shore, near Oxford, MD.

Sandpiper said...

Charming home and exactly what I would expect.

But, what I recall most is how inhumanely Mr. Shriver was treated as Presidential candidate McGovern's VP choice in '72. It was an un-Godly mess, invasive and awful for this man. I recall feeling badly for the circus he was forced to endure. Nice to know he rose above it.

Anonymous said...

Nice house, but a wee big.

Anonymous said...

Great house. Perhaps a bit big, but seems like a really well thought-out layout. I looked at the pictures before reading, thought it was old, then looked at the plan and figured it was much newer or at least very thoroughly renovated, as it seems designed for modern living.

A little fresh decorating and this house is spectacular.

luke220 said...

This floor plan is everything that A-Rod's isn't. Imagine the first two floors of this home as a Park Avenue penthouse- perfection!

Anonymous said...

REMINDS ME OF LAURA ROOSEVELTS HOUSE.

Anonymous said...

HOUSE

Stitches2000 said...

Hate to say this, but I love it. I can feel a scotch on the rocks in my hand just looking at it.