Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Kennedy Family Triple Play

In his always good read Gimme Shelter, Braden Keil at the New York Post has titillated and intrigued Your Mama with several Kennedy properties the last few weeks. So we thought it might be fun to post them here with photos so that the children can see how one of America's premier, but fading, power broking families live.

SELLER: Estate of Pat Lawford
LOCATION: First Neck Lane, Southampton, NY
PRICE: $12,500,000
SIZE: 2.1 acres, 10,467 square feet, 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Dubbed Chrisyviro after Lawfords foru children and located on fancy pants First Neck Lane near the village of Southampton, the rambling house sprawls out over 10,000+ square feet and has more than enough bedrooms for a good chunk of the Kennedy clan to bed down after a long summer Saturday of touch football on the front lawn and gin on tonics on one of the many patios and porches.

Approached down a gorgeous tree lined drive which terminates in a drive court where visitors are confronted with a confusing mish-mash of architecture. A pretty little tree is the only indication that one should proceed through the door-filled courtyard in hopes of entering the abode. But which door? There is a stair hall that is probably the official entrance to the house, but the door to this space is tucked into a corner, so it's much more likely guests will enter through a set of french doors and directly into the vast living room.

The "estate condition" house means it needs to be ripped up and have the kitchen and numerous bathrooms replaced. No small feat considering there are enough terlits for a baseball team to all urinate at the same time.

Your Mama expects this house will be bull-dozed. We're not saying we want it bull-dozed. But unless some old-school family with a desire to sleep in the same rooms that Kennedys have done gawd-only-knows-what buys this house, it's highly probable someone will want to replace it with a gargantuan shingled Hamptons style "cottage" with a media room in the basement and a kitchen covered acres of granite, cherry wood, and stainless steel. A piece of Hamptons and Kennedy history gone like the tide.

SELLER: Estate of Pat Lawford
LOCATION: 1 Sutton Place South, New York, NY
PRICE: $12,750,000 (maintenance: $8,601/month)
SIZE: 4 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: (shortened from listing agent's website) Majestic 11 room duplex in Sutton's most prestigious building. There are beautiful River views from all major rooms. A dramatic gallery with a grand staircase leads to the magnificent 31 foot living room with a wood burring fireplace and French doors leading to a Juliette balcony...The splendid eat-in family kitchen is adjacent to a laundry room and three staff rooms with bath...The Upper Floor of the duplex has an enormous master with his and her baths and a paneled library; both with French doors leading to a lovely balcony which runs the length of the apartment...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: These Kennedy's were not old money, but they were certainly blue-bloods by taste and style. The mammoth duplex apartment, owned by Pat Lawford since her dee-vorce from rat pack actor Peter in 1966, expresses the ee-pit-o-me of 1960s New York grace, grandeur, and fat bank accounts. Sure, it's a little old-fashioned. But remember, Miz Lawford was in her 80s when she passed late last year, so you know that back in the day, when the lady bought this apartment and had it decorated with it's Chinese inspired chairs, baby grand, and swagged curtains, it was right in line with the decor of then en vogue and Jackio O' decorator Sister Parish.

The Lawford apartment is located in one of the most exclusive buildings in New York, and certainly the finest building on swanky Sutton Place. Built in 1927 for the famous Phipps family, who for quite some time occupied the tremendous penthouse which was surrounded by 6,000 square feet of wrap terraces, the Rosario Candela designed building's most prominent feature is the triple arched driveway. That's right, you heard correct, a driveway. This most unusal feature allows the building's rich and powerful occupants to comfortably enter and exit their chauffeur driven town cars without having to worry about being run down by a wildly driven taxi cab or being seen by "peeple" on the sidewalk.

Another notable feature of 1 Sutton Place South is the vast green lawn that stretches from the back of the building out towards the murky East River. Below the private park rushes traffic on the F.D.R. Several years ago the building's lease on the "land" that gave the building a large and meticulously maintained backyard lapsed. A bitter feud ensued between the well-healed residents and the city who wanted to reclaim the land as public space. Although the residents, who include Alien ack-tress Sigourney Weaver, fashion diva Caroline Roehm, and billionaire Ann Cox Chambers, rarely set a Jimmy Choo or a Ferragamo on the lush lawn out back, they were and are loathe to allow the common folks access to the park claiming it would compromise their property values and privacy. Cry us a river rich people.

Mister Keil tells us the apartment has gone to contract for close to it's asking price. Whatever happens to the backyard, Your Mama sincerely hopes the apartment remains mostly intact and is being purchased by someone looking to retain the dignity and old-school layout of this apartment. We don't, however, mind if the new owner gets rid of the three staff rooms and installs a giant media room. Who lives with staff nowadays? It's much better and far more modern to buy another apartment nearby than to have one's staff living up in your crib and privy to the ups, downs, ins and outs of your private life. If you can't exist without a chamber maid who lives like a sardine in an obscenely tiny room behind the kitchen and brings you midnight snacks you're too lazy to go get yerself, then you are far too rich and spoiled.

As usual, we digress.

SELLER: Ethel Kennedy
LOCATION: 1147 Chain Bridge Road, McClean, Virginia
PRICE: $12,500,000
SIZE: 7,332 square feet, 12 bedrooms, 10.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Hickory Hill, Robert F. Kennedy's Home for over 50 yrs., was previously owned by President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy. This handsome 19th Century residence sits on almost 6 acres w/ majestic trees and rolling lawns. The residence has 12 BDRMS, 10.5 BATHS, 12 FPs, a 38 ft living room, pool and pool house, tennis court and stables.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Oh my. Twelve fireplaces means having to employ a full time chimney sweep. And 10.5 bathrooms means having to employ a couple of full time terlit washers. Six acres of lawns mean a small army of landscapers and lawn mowers, stables mean groomsmen, and a pool means pool boys.

Lawhd children, more staff is required to keep this estate running smoothly then there are people in Angelina Jolie-Pitt's ever expanding family.

Braden Keil tells us this history filled house has been on the market since 2003 and was originally priced at a whopping $25,000,000. Recently the price was reduced for the THIRD time to just half of the original price. Children, what does this say about the pedestal putting attitude America has traditionally had for the Kennedy clan? It seems like not so long ago people pined and dreamed of being associated with all things Kennedy. But scandal after scandal have clearly hurt the the prestige of the family, and now they can't hardly give the suburban Washington D.C. house away that surely hosted many of the world's most well known despots, dignitaries, and power brokers.

Property records show the house at just over 7,000 square feet, which seems a little small to Your Mama for 12 or 13 bedrooms unless they are of the teeny tiny variety. Like all the other Kennedy properties we're discussing here today, this one is also chock full of traditional decor and furniture and the place looks like it's not been touched since the late 1960s. Not that Your Mama would ever paint our living room Pepto-Bismal pink or stick a big, phallic flag pole in the front yard, but somehow the dated decor and historical dignity of the house holds up nicely.

Given that Miz Ethel only paid $125,000 for the house when she purchased it from then Senator John F. Kennedy and Jackie, we don't feel so bad that she's had to lower the price so much. Even with a hugely reduced priced Miz Ethel is going to walk with far more money than most people earn in a lifetime.

Sources: NY Post, Wired New York, New York Times


Anonymous said...

i read a book years ago written by one or rose kennedy's personal secretaries. she addressed the kennedy housing issue and more than implied that deferred manintenance was very much in play with all the clan.

it is fun, however, to glance behind the walls and into the homes of a couple of kennedy kin. the kennedy's represent a simpler time when a single family could capture the interest and psyche of a country. there time has come and gone...rather sad.

Anonymous said...

As my mother would say, "Hmmm, is it decorated in Early Catholic?"

Anonymous said...

I'd still take JFK Jr's place at 20 N. Moore over these. Of course I'd have to fight off Ed Burns and Christy Turlington first, since they do, after all, live there now.

Anonymous said...

The NY apt. is fabulous!!
Not Sister Parrish at all- she HATED French style.
This looks like the work of Jansen.
Consuelo Vanderbilt owned it before Pat, so she probably installed all of the incredible boiseries and floors.