It was a most pleasant sunny day at Grey Gardens (3 West End Road), on the day we visited the iconic home nestled mere steps from the Atlantic
Ocean, at Georgica
Beach in East Hampton Village. My wife, Cindi, and I met award-winning real estate agent Michael Schultz of The Corcoran Group
for a majestic sweep through the many rooms of the 120-year-old home known as Grey Gardens.
Years ago, through the efforts of Andrew Wargo
, I had the opportunity to talk to Albert Maysles
about the famous documentary he did on Grey Gardens and its inhabitants, Edie Bouvier Beale and her mother, Edith, with his brother David Maysles. Albert felt that this property, despite all its disrepair, had an intellectual charm - a power that was timeless and priceless.
The big, roomy old style kitchen is large enough to have a pre-dinner cocktail party in it. (Photo: Corcoran)
Now, after almost 40 years of ownership by Sally Quinn, the legendary Washington Post
journalist, the Hamptons home is on the market for not quite $20 million ($19.995 million, to be exact). Location, location, location is never to be underestimated in pricing a home, but with Grey Gardens there is just so much more.
The author at Grey Gardens. (Courtesy Photo)
My first visit to Grey Gardens was in the summer of 2007 for an East Hampton Historical Society
event. I had just composed a three-part series on the history of Sag Harbor and was thus invited. The Grey Gardens living room was filled with historical, intellectual types as savvy factoids and trivia were being pronounced with every sip of Long Island wine. It was my kind of party; vibrant, cheerful, informative, and yet, I was the youngest one in the room at 54-years-old. It was with those thoughts in mind that I slipped through the front Dutch door, on the porch to the main entrance of Grey Gardens. Immediately what struck me was the way the home was a conduit for cheerful sunlight with every room bright and cheerful as all summer beach homes should be.
My mind instantly realized that this trophy home, although over 6,000 square feet with nine bedrooms and seven and a half bathrooms, was not your average megalomaniac billionaire's beach house. It did not have gaudy, oversized windows, hallways and community hall size bathrooms - this was a home, a David Rockefeller
type summer home he would have up in Bar Harbor, Maine or anywhere. With enough bedrooms for a large young family, what I enjoyed was exploring the three floors of Grey Gardens. The distinctive bedrooms adhere to the architecture of the home; each one similar yet different like children in a large family. I visited the famous bedroom with the two single beds that both Big Edie and Little Edie slept in, as well as Sally Quinn's master bedroom. Again, I was struck by the way both rooms on opposite sides of the house gathered in the bright afternoon sunlight.
The huge dining room that is on the left as you walked in the front door is also brightly naturally lit due to the numerous large historic windows. The fireplace there practically whispered in a ghost like manner about the fun the August dinner parties of Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee
(her husband) were, with only the juiciest and tasteful gossip. There also had to be typical summer "Hamptons" what we did today conversations. The big, roomy old style kitchen is large enough to have a pre-dinner cocktail party in it. I think many have actually occurred there, but I can't prove it.
The home is situated on 1.7 acres. (Photo: Corcoran)
This visit was just one day before spring, so the 1.7 acres of gardens were not in high feather. But, I have toured them when they are and all I can say is, they are almost like the rooms of the house, each section distinctively oozing with enchantment and history.
Grey Gardens boasts nine bedroom. (Photo: Corcoran)
Too often many think of Grey Gardens as a rundown home in ill reappear. It is anything but. I remember Pattie Boyd, the ex-wife of George Harrison
and Eric Clayton, talking about Harrison's luxurious palatial estate, Friar Park. When she first visited it with George, there were holes in the roof, broken windows and it was a total mess. Now, it is one of the great estates of the world. Grey Gardens is not a Friar Park, however, it is a distinctive summer home with one of the best addresses in the world. Possessing Grey Gardens would validate a life of success for any intellectual minded titan who understands quality beyond the new tech wealth gaudiness that is enveloping the Hamptons ocean coastline, like a disease of classlessness.
Gary R. DePersia, Corcoran Real Estate
With over $2 billion in transactions on the East End and since 1995, Gary DePersia is consistently ranked among the top producers in the Hamptons. A year-on-year member of The Corcoran Group Presidentís Council, he has qualified as a national list maker since 2007. In 2008 he was Corcoran's top broker on the East End by sales volume and rental units; and ranked as the nationís 4th top broker. In the 2017 REAL Trends & The Wall Street Journal list of Americaís top real estate professionals, he was designated #26 nationally, #4 in the Hamptons and #3 at Corcoran overall by volume with nearly $200 million of transactions for the past year. His office operates with four licensed assistants allowing him to build a business stretching from Southampton to Montauk and Sagaponack to Shelter Island.
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!
Bridgehampton National Bank
For over 100 years Bridgehampton National Bank has been the East End's hometown bank. Many success stories...one bank, BNB!
Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices
from the best flooring manufacturers ó and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968
Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff.
Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.
Despatch of Southampton
Despatch of Southampton has been moving homes locally on the East End
for decades. We operate a well-maintained fleet of vehicles that can
accommodate any size move. On a day to day basis we service moves
from and to New York City.