SELLER: Ivan Lendl
LOCATION: Goshen, CT
SIZE: 20,000-ish square feet, 10 bedrooms, 12 full and 3 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: It was via covert communique from our inside gal in Connecticut — that would be Phatlady Sings — that we first learned retired professional tennis great Ivan Lendl volleyed his downright baronial 450-ish acre estate in rural Goshen, CT, on the open market with a $19,750,000 price tag.
Your Mama’s research indicates the Czech-born, 8-time Grand Slam winner — our tennis aficionado b.f.f. Fiona Trambeau told us in his heyday he was “a big-bootied baseline power player with a mean forehand he could hit so hard it distorted as it flew over the net” — acquired the property in the late 1980s for about $4.2 million and custom built the showy 25-room stone and stucco mansion in the early 1990s.
As it turns out, this isn’t the first time Mister Lendl and his long-time wife, Samantha, have been to the real estate rodeo with their super-sized spread in postcard-ready Litchfield County; In 2008, they unsuccessfully attempted to sell their extremely private if practically remote property about 100 miles northeast of Midtown Manhattan for $25 million.
A relatively unassuming, remote-controlled gate marks entry to the Mister and Missus Lendls’ sylvan estate and swings open to a tree-lined driveway that makes an extraordinarily long and sinuous, cane-shaped sweep across a woods-ringed meadow to a circular driveway that befits a residence of near-imperial magnitude.
Depending on which listing one peruses the main house, a hulking edifice that Your Mama imagines might have appealed to a minor Russian noble, is described as a Georgian Colonial mansion of around twenty or 25,000 square feet, with 10 bedrooms, 12 full and 3 half bathrooms, at least four fireplaces, and garage parking for eight or more vehicles. (For the record: The Litchfield County Tax Man clocks the main house at 16,094 square feet and several digital discussion from when the Lendl estate was up for sale in 2008 suggest the total square footage of the estate’s numerous structures is in the neighborhood 43,000.)
The stately interiors are decidedly traditional and bend towards — ahem — Regal with polished wide plank wood floors, heavy-duty dentil moldings, elaborate fireplace mantels, scads of crystal chandeliers, and more swagged window treatments that in all the brothels in Nevada. Long galleries and a roomy reception hall with grand staircase link the mansion’s grandly proportioned entertaining spaces that include a ballroom-sized formal living room, a formal dining room the size of a banquet hall, and a book-filled paneled library that wouldn’t look out of place in the Park Avenue duplex of an aged doyenne or an octogenarian industrialist. Less formal family quarters include a capacious, professional-grade kitchen with butler’s pantry, a family room, a game room, and a fully finished basement level.
Main floor rooms at the rear of the residence open through over-sized French doors to a vast, herringbone-pattern red brick terrace that gives way to a prairie-sized swathe of lawn bordered by thick woods. Recreational amenities are many and include an indoor basketball court with 25-foot ceilings, a fully equipped fitness room, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa facilities with his and her locker rooms, equestrian facilities, a sport court and, natch, a championship-grade tennis court. Outbuildings include (but are not likely limited to) a multi-story guesthouse just inside the estate’s gates, attached and detached garages, a caretaker’s apartment, a horse barn and a poolside pavilion with shaded dining terrace.
A quick spin through public property records indicates the Lendl’s property portfolio also includes (but may not be limited to) a much smaller and straight-up ordinary 3,027-square-foot house in Bradenton, FL, scooped up in March 2006 for $675,000. Property records also show that in May 2000 the couple paid $800,000 for 1.11-acre, canal-front parcel inside the gates of a fancy-pants golf and beach development in Vero Beach, FL, where they custom built a significantly larger and luxurious 6,162 square foot abode.
Listing photos: William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty