Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Joan Rivers Lists Connecticut Country House

SELLER: Joan Rivers
LOCATION: White Oaks Road, New Milford, CT
PRICE: $6,500,000
SIZE: 5,730 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Stone & clapboard sprawling country house. High standards. Incredible taste. Swimming pool. Pool house. Caretaker's cottage. Barn/garage. Pond. Amazing Views.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In late May of 2009, much nipped and tucked comedienne Joan Rivers hoisted her Manhattan penthouse apartment on the market with a toe curling asking price of $25,000,000. It was reported in the New York Times that Miz Rivers put the apartment on the market because she plans to spend more time on the West Coast where her also much nipped and tucked look-alike daughter Melissa lives in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.

All the real estate gossips and celebrity watchers wondered if Miz Rivers, who bulldozed her way to winning the most recent season of The Celebrity Apprentice, would also list her country house in lovely Litchfield County, CT. And she has, with folks at Klemm Real Estate, for $6,500,000.

Property records and previous reports indicate Miz Rivers scooped up her multi-parcel estate in New Milford which totals more than 75 acres in December of 2000 for $1,438,400. The existing house on the property, according to Miz Rivers in a February 2003 article in Architectural Digest (requires registration) was, "the ugliest house [she'd] ever seen. It looked like a Denny's." So she hired a retail merchandising queen friend of hers named Joe to give the place a full face lift and turn into a "small and cozy" house where her beloved pooches could get up on the sofas with impunity.

The "squat" mid-century modern style house was razed except for the foundation, a few stone columns and the sizable stone fireplace in the living room. The result of the redo is, according to property records and listing information, a 5,760 square foot single story stone and clapboard sprawler with 4 bedrooms, 4.5 Carrara marble bathrooms, 22-foot ceilings, 100 year old chestnut wood beams, four fireplaces and a dozen or more French doors that open to a free-form stone terrace that stretches along the back the house and looks out over a bucolic vista of rolling lawns, old-growth trees and the mountains in the distance.

Although Miz Rivers posseses a mouth as foul as they come and she can shred a person as quickly and easily as she can slice through fresh bread with a sharp knife, she's actually a woman of discerning style and traditional decorative taste as is evidenced by the acres of fringed and mismatched Scalamandré fabrics, 18th century bird engravings, Hudson River School paintings, antique doo-hickeys, picture frames and dust collecting gew-gaws that clutter up almost every damn flat surface in the house.

Although we are not entirely convinced Miz Rivers even eats, there is none the less a large country kitchen with a soaring beamed ceiling, bacteria collecting butcher block counter tops, distressed wood floors, a lot of white cabinetry and a full complement stainless steel appliances. Sitting high above the stove top and hood is a large oil painting and shelves with pewter looking this and thats that Your Mama imagines are caked with cooking grease and hopes are stuck down with museum putty lest they fall off and crack Cook's head right open.

In the Architectural Digest article Mrs. Rivers says about her cotton candy pink and blush colored bedroom, "This is the bedroom every little girl wants." Do we even need to tell the children that it makes Your Mama queasy just to think of a senior citizen doing up her bedroom as a gurlish fantasy? The only thing worse is when a grown woman (or man) has stuffed animals on their beds which is just plain creepy, desperate and wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Far more upsetting than a grandma having a bedroom decorated for a pre-pubescent gurl, however, is the mirrored and marbled master pooper where a pair of female Blackamoors with with ferns on their damn heads flank the bath tub. We do not care that these statues are from the set of Babs Streisand's Hello, Dolly!, they still give Your Mama goose bumps but not in a good way.

Not pictured or mentioned in listing information, but lovingly lauded in the Architectural Digest article, is a decoratively whimsical (if sort of silly) hallway lined with antique mirrors and trompe l'oeil windows that depict the homes of some of Miz Rivers' hoity-toity friends and family including Prince Charles's Highgrove. Your Mama is dying to know if Miz Rivers hauls out her potty mouth when sitting around sipping Chardonnay with Prince Charles and his former mistress turned wifey Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

The extensive grounds include an (approximately) 1,200 foot long driveway ending in a large circular drive, a detached barn/garage (just try to imagine Miz River's driving a car without getting hysterical) and a vast expanse of grass that rolls down to a private pond. Away from the back of the house and tucked into a stand of trees is a swimming pool and pool house. If there is anything more comical than trying to imagine Joan Rivers piloting an automobile, it's Joan Rivers paddling around her pool in a demure swimsuit and flowered bathing cap.

Miz Rivers moving is without a doubt the East Coast's loss and the West Coast's gain and we imagine that Miz Rivers and her drum tight and increasingly Madame-esque face will soon be sitting in the back of a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce touring multi-million dollar homes in Los Angeles. We're on pins and needles waiting to hear from one of our informants what she buys and look forward to our invite to the house warming.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful setting.

I hope Joanie has a sit-down lawn mower when she does her gardening.

:{} avg joe said...

MADOFF

MADOFF

MADOFF

He did it, he is the devil, the antichrist,

just sayin

btw mama a lot of blogs, including soot and ashes and hollywood deadline daily have been bought out in the last week by unknown forces in the universe, I wonder if yours is next ???

Anonymous said...

I have been to this lovely home of Joan's it is so warm and welcoming and perhaps not to everyones taste but Joan does have a way of making you feel welcomed and comfortable. When all the french doors are open it is an absolute delight and not a neighbor insight. Very impressive when pulling up the drive and yes Mama she does drive, only when she is in CT though....

angeleyes said...

I absolutely love this home and property, decorating faux pas aside. With a good decluttering, more appropriate master suite decor, and perhaps changing out a chandelier or two for something a bit smaller and less busy, it would be perfect.

I'd be willing to bet that part of Joan's appeal for Prince Charles is precisely because of her potty mouth. I recall the transcript of a raunchy telephone conversation between Charles and Camilla being leaked to the British press back when he was cheating on Diana, in which he famously told Camilla that he'd like to "live inside your trousers ... as a tampon."

UGH, no kidding.

Anonymous said...

I love this house! What a wonderful country estate to escape the city!

luke220 said...

Nice house but overpriced.

Was her money with Stanley Chais?

feonia said...

I hope she bunks with Candy while house hunting in Mama's neck of the woods. They could kvetch about the misery of maintaining huge homes and visit the gurly doll room in the wee hours of the morning. The Trumbauer place........she shoulda kept and rented to Stephen Fry or someone else who woulda appreciated it.

Anonymous said...

11:09 - I remembered the 'tampon' thing too. Somehow I don't even think Joan could have come up with something that (unintentionally) funny.

Not my taste in decorating, but it sure looks like a comfortable house to spend a weekend in.

and sorry mama, but I love the fern headed figures in the bath

MoneyBlogga said...

The house needs a decluttering ~ it's a housemaid's nightmare. Other than that, it's a grand residence.

Anonymous said...

Can we talk? Joan should shoot the photographer--the house is much more attractive than these washed-out pics show. Maybe they are the AD shots, but they do not look well online. Yes, there is lots and lots of bric-a-brac and plenty of over-the-top notions of English Country, but these pictures should be changed immediately if they are the ones on the Klemm website--are the Klemms sellings it? Whoa, Mama, that is a story in itself, dem Klemms--talk about over the top. But I'll say no more about them. I'm sure you have your moles up Connecticut way.

Anonymous said...

I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE round table draped in fabric--so cheap looking, I don't care if its Bunny Albert Sister or any of their progeny or McMillan or Mario or whoever it is-- such a CLICHE CLICHE CLICHE

Anonymous said...

Mew Milford has much higher taxes than Washington/New Preston, which her place borders--maybe some of the acreage is in New Preston--its right up the road. Also New Milford is more on the Glendale end of things--and if Miss Veda is going to spend $6.5 she wants to be in Pasadena (which in NW Conn terms would be New Preston or some other nicer nearby town- Roxbury Sharon-- Salisbury-- South Kent--)

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Glendale, if its Madoff it may be Melissa driving her around that town in a '96 Hyundai, not Bel air in a Rolls, if Madoff took all her dough. Maybe not even Glendale, poor Joanie.

Anonymous said...

Love this house, except for maybe the mammy chick holding the towel in the bathroom. I am wondering what happens to all the furniture when people with homes of this magnitude move. Do they take it with? Have a big estate sale? Sell the house furnished? Sounds like if she's selling two houses, she'll be downsizing when she gets to CA so she has a lot of stuff to get rid of. I hope it's not a case of being Madoffed -- I kind of like Joan.

Anonymous said...

It's not Maddoff. It's old age.

Don't drink the Average Idiot's Kool Aid. It will give you the runs every time.

Anonymous said...

she may be 75, but she has more energy than Linda and Beverly put together. so I dunno abt old age really--

Anonymous said...

Energy doesn't matter. Older people like to be close to family. Where is her family? Los Angeles.....

Anonymous said...

maybe but I'm tellin' ya, she's a dynamo-- she's been going great guns, flying all over creation, promoting her recent books, doing tee-vee, entertaining, and suddenly she's retiring? I don't think so. Maybe she is sick of real-estate albatrosses and wants to be near Missy in Los Angle-less (as my Grandmaw used to say), but she's a New Yawk girl... and there are these things called jets---she's cool--oh well best of luck Joanie

Viva! said...

It's not Madoff...Joan's made so many jokes about wishing she'd been taken by Madoff (so that she could claim she used to be very, very rich) that it's clear to me that Madoff didn't make off with a penny of Miss Rivers' fortune. As a matter of fact, I have it on good authority that Miss Rivers hasn't been invested in the markets for more than a decade and keeps her fortune, like financial maven Suze Orman, in insured municipal bonds. Miss Rivers' QVC business is still booming after nearly 20 years, so it's hardly a cash flow problem.

Instead, it's likely the fact that Miss Rivers is 76 and wants to be close to her only child and only grandchild. Plus, the weather is relatively warm year round which, when you're in your 70s, is a good thing. I don't think she'll be moving in with Melissa though, I'm seeing a big spread in Beverly Hills (not BHPO), just like her last house, a nice lady like Joan Rivers wants the services of the BH Police Dept at her beck and call.

Joan's New Milford house is typical of her: dripping in personality and good taste. Her places have a sense of whit and whimsey. I hope she gets her asking prices, just because I love her!

Like Mama said, it's New York's loss and Los Angeles' gain!

Anonymous said...

The guy (Keith) behind the Soot & Ashes blog took the summer off to travel around Europe.

Deadline Hollywood Daily was acquired by MMC. No "unknown forces of the universe", it's right on the home page along with the post from Nikki Finke saying the site content will continue, the new deal just provides more funding.

As usual, the village idiot is spouting nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt that the divine Miss R. was taken by Madoff. She is a sharp and savvy business person (and she learned this well from her long-deceased hubby). They trusted no one with their money, and believed in owning serious amounts of commercial real estate as opposed to stocks. One of the reasons she allegedly went back to work after her husband died was that the money was all tied up in bricks in mortar. Over the last 35 years, they have done just fine!

Her place at 1 West 62nd St. is absolutely divine. She picked that up for about $5M when she moved from L.A. a year or so after Edgar died in 1987.

The "Tara" she shared with her family in L.A. for about 17 years was located at 10811 Ambazac Way in the tony Bel-Air neighborhood, just north of Sunset. (She had a big S-Class Benz when she lived in L.A. last time.) Perhaps she is looking back in Bel-Air again?

Anonymous said...

I assume you mean East 62, and I don't think it's 1 E 62, is it?

Anonymous said...

Apparently she's never heard "less is more"!!! Oh my Gawd, ALL the knick-knacks and "stuff" give me a headache. I think this could truly be a great weekend home once it's declutterd and de-Joaned! I'm surprised so many people appear to like her--I think she's an egotisical bitch with a VERT frighteningly scary face. One would think Melissa would have enough sense to see how scary multiple plastic surgeries can make a person and stop having them now, although she's well on her way to being as scary looking as her mom.

bentley said...

I, too, have seen her drive. Nothing shocking there.

The house nothing for me, but the grounds are wonderful. Litchfield, though, talk about corpses, with attitude, on parade. Goosebumps, indeed.

Mama, as a devotee of The Celebrity Apprentice (I can't help it, I'm a starfucker) she never stopped eating!

marlee said...

Joan was on Howard Stern yesterday. She said her Connecticut home has been on the market for a year and not a single person has even come to look at it. She also said she has lost about 1/2 of her money in the recent economic times.

Anonymous said...

if you think Manhattan real estate is comatose, Connecticut is simply dead. And people are not going to want sprawlers for many, many years.

Anonymous said...

I MUST have that "Towel Jockey" from the master bath. Seriously.........A nice silent little "mamie" just waiting with your towel. MUST HAVE

Anonymous said...

Mama, I am quite confused, though I'm sure you're right. The old house had a New Preston (Washington) address and was entranced from New Preston Hill.
The White Oaks Rd address I'll bet is a private lane to the house. It was indeed a bit of a dog that needed training----though I believe it was built in the 70's. It actually was a rather interesting house, but... c'est la vie. She must have added acreage and changed the driveway to further down the hill. I'll have to do a driveby. Oh---Carolyn and the Klemm boys. Another day. Apparently she has the Lendl estate up in Goshen under contract.Big deal for around here. It was listed at 25m. Wonder what they'll get. It's been on the market for ages. I'm not sure who's listed Joan's house. I'll have to go check, but I have a suspicion.

Anonymous said...

it's the Klemms themselves that would make for good Realestalker material. Utterly ridic folk, but more power to 'em

Anonymous said...

I too have often wondered what happens to the furniture, etc. of these behemoth-sized houses that the rich & famous unload. Sent to auction? Bought by stagers?

Anonymous said...

Apparently, my guess was wrong. It's Carolyn of the hyena laughs herself as the listing agent. There are often great "tag" and "estate" sales around here, 7:08. Sometimes a few local auction houses will get a truck load of the unwanted.

Anonymous said...

She was on The View yesterday and all she said about Madoff was she wished her daughter had married him. Says she would have told him to give back all but 2 bilion of the money - that would be enough for her.

Anonymous said...

TO June 24 at 5:57am, yes I meant to write that her NYC home is at 1 EAST 62nd street, not West.

She is one building in off 5th Ave. It is a beautiful building, but hard to believe there are 12 apartments in the building. It doesn't look that large.

Anonymous said...

Funny joke about Denny's, but I wonder if an historical foundation would have laughed about the demolition of the original house.

Anonymous said...

Ewwww....HORRIBLE decorating

Anonymous said...

Has this overpriced dump sold yet?

I'll give her 1 mill, and she should consider herself lucky to get that considering the crappy market.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to Joan.
She works hard and earned it!
Wish I had her ambition.
She inspires me.