Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Bohemian Beach Shacks of Peter Beard

SELLER: Peter Beard
LOCATION: Old Montauk Road, Montauk, NY
PRICE: $26,000,000
SIZE: 6 acres, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Five (5) Cottages on 6 acres of oceanfront that includes 3 buildable lots. 150' from ocean allowable for building. Last house on the point offering spectacular water views and comes with stairs down to the ocean and beach.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Oh Lawhd children, you know the Hamptons real estate situation has reached a fever pitch and spun completely out of control when a six acre site with a cluster of five shacks in far flung Montauk goes on the market for a bank account busting $26,000,000.

The property, perched on a high, windswept bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is currently owned by railroad heir and acclaimed artist Peter Beard, who at one time was plugged into the highest echelon of New York's hard partying Studio 54 crowd, including very rich, arty farty, and bohemian types like Truman Capote, Lee Radziwill, and Bianca Jagger. And let's not forget the strange and bewigged Andy Warhol, who owned his own 5.6 acre Montauk compound of ocean front shacks, called "Eothen," that was recently sold in the 20 millions to the "Merchant Prince" Mickey Drexler, former Gap CEO and now the head dude at JCrew.

If you ask Your Mama, and of course no one did, this Peter Beard is one lucky bastard. Born into the sort of wealth that freed him from the burden of working for money, he has spent his well documented life roaming the African bush, taking pictures of wild animals, keeping his now famous diaries, and making collages that sell for large sums of money. He maintains a 40+ acre spread in Kenya called "Hog Ranch."

The five beach shacks on Beard's Montauk property are just that, beach shacks. All the domicile snobs out there will probably hate this cluster of buildings, which is really more of a village than a house. There are none of the Hamptons luxuries such as tennis court, a swimming pool, or air conditioning. But, there is a stair case to the beach. A long, loooong flight of stairs that will leave all but the healthiest individuals breathless and gasping for air.

There have always been rich people in the Hamptons with their gargantuan and gorgeous Stanford White "cottages." But there was also a time, not so long ago really, when the Hamptons wasn't just a playground for the rich and the wanna-marry-someone-rich. The finger of lng that juts out into the Atlantic has a long history of playing host to artists, writers, and lovably eccentric layabouts who regularly mingled and socialized with the moneyed and blue blooded crowd. And they still do, if they're a writer, artist or trust fund layabout with a fat bank account.

Let's face it, the only people who think the Hamptons is still a casual and relaxed seaside getaway for creative types are the Maserati driving millionaires who can easily afford a $5,000,000 weekend house and don't mind making reservations at Nick and Toni's weeks in advance.

Don't get Your Mama wrong. We love the Hamptons. But when the lobster salad at Loaves and Fishes in Sagaponack sells for $100 a pound, you just know the starving artist types have moved on to less rarefied and less expensive locales.

The listing states that the property is comprised of three separate lots. So you know what that means, right? Some developer with deep pockets is likely to come along, buy the property and build three huge, shingled "cottages" with all the technological gizmos which will be bought up by money managers and private equity millionaires. So goes the Hamptons.

Sources: New York Magazine, Newsday


Anonymous said...

OMG, what beautiful vistas. I'd take this property over anything in the Hamptons. Just my taste, but not altogeher unprecedented. Before Johnny Carson moved to Malibu, it was considered out in the sticks and out of fashion, and now look at it. I'd also much rather have a home perched on a bluff overlooking the ocean than on the beach a few feet from it.

Anonymous said...

Montauk isn't 'out in the sticks'! ... it's just 12 miles from East Hampton! Montauk has continually had properties on the market at $20M+ ... I always think Montauk is for those who'd rather not get caught up in the whole clique hamptons scene ... I'd take my $26M to the south of France ... not that it's any cheaper, just the scene isn't as full on or as stuck up & way more fun ...

Anonymous said...

Oh I know Anon. My analogy was just that, and like all things, it's in the eye of the beholder. I totally agree with you. I'm a bit of a rebel in that regard. The more cliquish an area is, the more wary I am of it for purposes of living there myself.

Anonymous said...

The hamptons are beautiful but unfortunately are spoiled by the majority of people who go there ...

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 8:42A

I could not have said it better myself. There are so many beautiful areas that are completely ruined by the snobs that live there. The Hamptons are the most extreme example, but there are many communities like that throughout the country.

Kinda sad. Yet it is exactly why I choose to live in a less chic zip code.

Anonymous said...

The hamptons is what you make of it. Yes many people think it is the place "to be" and mingle with the rich and ultra bitch. If you ask me (And I know you didn't) it's still enjoyable and people still want to go there for a summer vacation. If not why would land be selling in Montauk (aka the sticks) for 26 mil?

Anonymous said...

I would much rather live in the Hamptons than Fleur De Lys scary house!!! shg

Anonymous said...

I love this place. I don't care if it is filled with shacks and ruins. To be away from all the hullabalooh when summering makes up for the lack of housely amenities.

Anonymous said...

Whats with that freestanding chimney? Was there a structure that burned down?