Normally when a house is on sale, it means its price is nowhere near the neighborhood of that of the most expensive house in the world. But Grey Gardens, the estate in the East Hamptons renowned for once belonging to Jackie Kennedy's aunt Edith Bouvier Beale and cousin Edith Beale—aka Big Edie and Little Edie—isn't exactly your ordinary home: Its storied lifespan has been the subject of a 1975 cult documentary, a 2009 HBO movie with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, and a Broadway musical.
What's more, the estate has recently found even more fame of its own: In the '70s, the estate passed into the hands of Sally Quinn, the journalist and noted D.C. socialite, and her late husband Ben Bradlee, the former executive editor of the Washington Post, the latter of which is now being portrayed by Tom Hanks in the highly anticipated Steven Spielberg movie The Post. The couple paid just $220,000 for the estate at the time, but now, a few years after Bradlee's death, Quinn decided to put the estate back on the market in March for nearly 20 times the original price (not counting inflation): a bit under $20 million.
Evidently, even estate-hunters considered that price to be a bit much. Over the course of the year, it was lowered by $2 million—and finally got lowered by several more millions, as the house just sold for $15.5 million to an unnamed couple who, as WWD reports, adore the property and plan on restoring it.
"This is a bittersweet moment for me, but I feel grateful that the new owners will cherish the house as much as Ben, Quinn and I did, and that their time there will be as magical as ours was," said Quinn, who recently had an estate sale including some relics belonging to the Beales that she had found in the attic.
The new owners will also be following in the footsteps of Kennedy and Lee Radziwill, too: The sisters also helped out in restoring the then derelict home and advocating for its preservation in 1972, when the reclusive Edies were facing eviction, and the house was about to be razed for not meeting local standards. Presumably, though, Quinn will have made sure they won't have to deal with hurdles like restoring running water and getting rid of some of its other former inhabitants: cats, raccoons, and fleas.
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