Monday, April 20, 2009

A Nicolas Cage New Orleans Double Whammy

Prolific property collector Nicolas Cage continues to keep all us naughty celebrity real estate gossips busy as beavers trying to keep up with his still substantial but slowly shrinking real estate empire. In early 2008 the hairrific Oscar winning actor sold his waterfront house in Newport Beach, CA to a gas station mogul for thirty some million dollars. More recently he managed to get rid of a little used 28-room schloss in Bavaria which he, puzzlingly, to his German advisor.

As far as Your Mama knows (and we really don't know nuthin'), Mister Cage continues to own luxury real estate in San Francisco, Las Vegas, the Bahamas, two high floor apartments in New York City's Olympic Tower on a fancy stretch of Fifth Avenue, and the UK–where he has a four story Georgian style townhouse in Bath and an 18th century castle. He also owns a handful of houses currently languishing on the open market including his brick built and ivy covered spread on Copa de Oro Road in Bel Air, CA which has been price slashed from $35,000,000 to $19,750,000. Also for sale (at least the last we checked) is an undeveloped 45-acre private island in the Bahamas, an ass-uglee house in a gated community in Las Vegas, a 24,000+ square foot manor house in Middletown, RI and two historic houses in Loo-zee-anna's Big Easy which–against our better judgement–we're going to spend the morning discussing.

SELLER: Nic Cage
LOCATION: Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA
PRICE: $3,450,000
SIZE: 13,176 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: The most superlative of Garden District mansions with the best of every amenity. Ample room for a large family and big-time entertainment venue with formal gardens, parking, and everything anyone could possibly want in a most grand of grand, star-quality home.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The first of the two properties we're going to chat about is Mister Cage's big ol' house in the Big Easy's gorgeous Garden District which first arrived on the open market sometime in the fall of 2008 with an asking price of $3,700,000. After six or so long months of sitting around without a serious buyer, the asking price now stands at $3,450,000 which property records reveal to be the exact same amount for which Mister Cage bought the house in June of 2005.

Before Mister Cage, the three story grande dame on Prytania Street was owned by several other notable characters including the Catholic Church who gave it the wonderfully ridiculous name of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel. The corner property later fell into the hands of the formerly brooding now Christian author Anne Rice who sold it to antiques dealer Reuban "Buzz" Harper who had a famous flair for turgid day-core and who, in turn, sold it to our Mister Cage.

Listing information shows the 13-room "L" shaped mansion measures a considerable 13,176 square feet and includes 6 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms. There are wide covered porches with flamboyant iron balustrades on the main and second floors, four kitchens and an elevator that does not appear to rise to the third floor. Perhaps most remarkable about Mister Cage's crib is the vast living and dining room area on the first floor which spans over more than 2,000 square feet of high-ceilinged architectural elegance that features extremely high-gloss wood floors, intricate plaster mouldings and ceiling medallions, four fireplaces and a swooping staircase that could raise Norma Desmond from the grave.

Your Mama wishes we had such florid words for the day-core which manages to be lackluster and lifeless despite the dramatic length of the dining room table and the campy period furniture. But we don't. Also, it seems unlikely that a home of this age would have been built with such loft-like public spaces. Even though we thrill at the idea of roller skating in the nood around the giant room, the architectural purist in Your Mama wishes the public rooms had been maintained as their original, properly proportioned and separate chambers.

Anyhoo, behind the dining room is a large, chef friendly kitchen with white cabinetry, granite counters, beige tile floors, navy colored walls and somewhat bizarrely, a red ceiling. The main floor is completed by a laundry room, a small room of unknown usage, a half bathroom and a master suite comprised of a medium sized bedroom, 33-foot long walk in closet and a bathroom that only Victoria Gotti (and Nic Cage) could love with its spectacularly silly spa tub set in the center of the room and surrounded by columns .

The second floor includes a landing/sitting room and a second master suite with a dressing room, large bathroom and access to two balconies. Another suite of rooms on the second floor includes a mini-kitchen, a commodious closet, an elevator landing and both a full and a half bathroom. The extreme rear of the second floor is a separate staff or guest suite with bathroom, walk in closet and eat in kitchen.

The lone terlit on the third floor is located off the large landing which separates two suites of rooms. One side contains yet another small kitchen and a couple of sitting rooms painted an eye-popping and grimace making shade of hot pink and then further punished with banal brown leather furniture, crushed velvet drapery, heavily carved wood pieces and a couple of wall mounted flat screen boob-toobs. The other two rooms on the opposite side of the landing are, we presume, bedrooms.

The grounds include well tended box hedges that surround a terrace with formal gardens and a gurgling fountain as well as a large brick terrace that encircles an in-ground swimming pool. Listing information also indicates there is off street parking, but honestly children, we can't figure out where that is or how many automobiles can be parked on the property.

Given that Mister Cage owns at least two (some say three) houses in New Orleans, it's unclear whether he and his much younger wifey and child occupy this house or the blood soaked and rumored to be haunted LaLaurie house, which is also currently for sale.

SELLER: Nicolas Cage
LOCATION: Royal Street, New Orleans, LA
PRICE: $3,550,000
SIZE: 10,284 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: One of the most beautiful homes in America. This home was originally built for French royalty and all the details of this period show it. Named the LaLaurie Mansion and known for its ghostly history, it is the height of superlative. if you want the best of the best, then here it is! Galleries, widow's walks, parking and prime location.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Although he already owned one house over in the Garden District, in December of 2006 Mister Cage could not resist his historical real estate desiring demons and spent what records show was $3,450,000 to purchase a second home in New Orleans.

According to listing information, the four floor French quarter mansion, commonly known as the LaLaurie House, was originally built for French royalty. However, it was later owners Dr. Louis Lalaurie and his wife Delphine who moved into the house in the early 1830s and who gave the property both its name and its witchy and macabre reputation as a house of unspeakable horrors. Mister and Missus Lalaurie were prominent pillars of New Orleans high society and well known for their lavish parties and for swanning around town with their impeccably dressed daughters. However, the couple had a deeply perverted and bloodcurdling dark side that will scare the skin right off the children.

Like many big living rich folks of that era, the Lalaurie House was taken care of by slaves. Sadly, and although it wasn't uncommon for slaves to be mistreated, Mister and Missus Lalaurie launched slave abuse into an entirely new and savagely sadistic realm of hell. The cook, the same one who prepared feasts for the Lalaurie family and their friends, was allegedly kept chained to the fireplace in the kitchen. Missus Lalaurie, whip in hand, was seen by a neighbor chasing her personal servant up to the roof of the house from where the tortured young girl leaped to her death. Later, authorities investigated and found a secret door in the attic behind which more than a dozen brutally abused slaves were chained to the wall and locked in cages. There were reportedly severed body parts strewn about the floor and decapitated heads in buckets. Some of the men had their private parts lopped off and a hole had been drilled into the top of the head of one male victim where a stick was inserted to "stir" his brain. More than a couple women had been cut open, their intestines pulled out and tied around their waists. Another woman had her arms and legs ruthlessly amputated and yet another had all of her limbs broken and re-set at alarming and unnatural angles. Shockingly, the Lalauries managed to escape authorities and their barbaric crimes against humanity were never prosecuted. It's unknown what fate befell the sick and twisted Lalauries, but Karma is a bitch children and even though it pains and challenges our own Karma to say so, Your Mama can only hope they met an untimely and hideously painful end.

Anyhoo, property records and multiple reports show Mister Cage picked up his haunted house in December of 2006. Records also reveal that Mister Cage paid $3,450,000 for the six bedroom house which has 8 terlits divided into six full and 2 half bathrooms. The property was first listed in the fall of 2008 with an asking price of $3,900,000 but has since been karate chopped to $3,550,000. It doesn't take even a brief consult with our bejeweled abacus to determine that when the property sells and after the fat real estate fees are paid, Mister Cage will likely lose boo-coo bucks on his real estate folly.

The sinister looking grey lady lords over the corner of Royal and Governor Nicholls Streets, measures 10,284 square feet, according to listing information, and wraps around a brick courtyard filled with a bunch of raggedy looking trees and potted plants. The house is entered on the ground floor through a narrow foyer with a classy black and white checkerboard floor. To the right of the entrance are two generously proportioned reception rooms, each with a gray and yellow marble fireplace surround, gray and white checkerboard floors, tall windows, built in book cases, a bunch of kooky Gothik meets Art Deco furniture and some really wretched looking paintings. Much to Your Mama's chagrin and dismay, it is our humble and meaningless opinion that these are indeed the best rooms of the house in terms of day-core. Behind these rooms is a pooper for the guests and small suite of rooms used for we don't know what. To the right of the foyer is a staff or guest suite with sitting room, kitchenette, full bathroom and bedroom. At the rear of the property is a garage that looks large enough to hold one big car or perhaps two itty-bitty but impossibly cute FourTwo Smart cars which would be perfect for tooling around the French Quarter and down to the the Jolie-Pitts place on Governor Nicholls Street.

The main part of the second floor contains the primary public rooms which include the dining room, a butlers pantry, a 1980s looking kitchen with some updated appliances and a double parlor style living room with wood floors, elaborate pilasters and pediments, dee-voon dentil ceiling moulding and a hodgepodge of unfortunate leather and brocade furniture. On the walls hang more of that upsetting artwork that, we're sorry Mister Cage, makes our flesh crawl. At the rear of the second floor there are two staff or guest suites with small kitchens and bathrooms that open to a balcony that wraps around the courtyard below. A mezzanine level contains two more staff or guest suites each with a small kitchen and bathroom.

Up on the third floor are the principle family bedrooms. Each of the bedrooms has its own private pooper and the master features a good sized bathroom and a walk in closet for all of Mister Cage's black jeans and leather jackets.

While it is well known that Mister Cage owns the Lalaurie House and a giant house in the Garden District, it has been reported (and whispered in Your Mama's big ear by Little Mary) that he and his family actually live next door when they are in town. Perhaps the viscious history and lingering bad juju makes the Lalaurie House simply too frightening to live. Or maybe Mister Cage is just strange like that.

Eventually, of course, Mister Cage will either make a butt load of money that will enable him to keep all his many dee-luxe digs or they will sell at prices that will surely leave him a few hundred grand (or maybe even a few million) in the hole. What is clear is that according to a recent interview in a German publication regarding the sale of his Bavarian schloss, Mister Cage said, "Due to the difficult economic situation, unfortunately, I was no longer able to keep it." Pity that.


Anonymous said...

I feel caged!

This guy owns a little of everything.

Anonymous said...

sweet jesus Mama i lost my damn lunch..................

angeleyes said...

This home's savagely sadistic past (to put it mildly) would be enough to creep me out too much to buy it. Ugh, I need a nerve pill.

angeleyes said...

This explains everything re: Cage's newfound desire to unload houses as quickly as he used to upload them:

"After six or so long months of sitting around without a serious buyer, the asking price now stands at $3,450,000 which property records reveal to be the exact same amount for which Mister Cage bought the house in June of 2005."

Anonymous said...

I have a very hard time believing Mr. Cage is broke. Undoubtly there is more to the story than meets the eye.

Anonymous said...

1:36, Cage isn't broke, but home values have declined to the point that he's losing money on his investments so he's selling them off. It's called cutting your losses damage control.

Stpaulsnowman said...

While the first house has much to recommend it, I wonder why it is fitted with four kitchens. Was it originally divided into apartments? The integrity of many historic homes has been corrupted by such subdivisions and the expense of returning such homes to their "former glory" can be considerable. I suspect that most buyers would be looking for a single home rather than an "apartment building" and that multiple kitchens would be a liability. Despite his hairscare, he does seem to have good taste in houses. I can just imagine the neighbors waiting until one of these two properties becomes a really good deal........and then snapping it up. As always, Mama, beautifully conceived and executed post. Brava!

Anonymous said...

"Due to THE economic situation" or HIS economic situation? Don't tell me a middling Hollywood actor is not a billionaire and is in a money bind! It would be a good lesson for him if he lost tons on all this real estate. Greed isn't always good or wise.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mama! Nice balance between the gory and the informative. That said, only a freak would buy the LaLaurie house... Brrrrrrr...

Also, did Mr. Cage ever sell that atrocity in Vegas?

Anonymous said...

Happy 4 20 to all, especially you mama!!

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia says that, while Ms. LaLaurie was definitely guilty of slave cruelty, it was nowhere near that gruesome: Seems someone in the tourist trade likes their shock value.

The Swagman said...

Of course we all know how accurate Wikipedia is!?!

Anonymous said...

New Orleans

Anonymous said...

Cage earns at least $60 million a year (3 movies @ $20 million each) so he isn't hurting financially. But with all these homes and dozens of cars at a hangar in CA, he comes across as someone looking for happiness and not finding it.

Babe "i ain't afraid of no ghost" Parish said...

shame on whoever took the pics in the LaLaurie house with that damn flash! the wall colors are so pedestrian for someone as colorful as cage.