SELLER: Kathleen Glynn
LOCATION: Central Lake, Michigan
PRICE: $5.2 million
SIZE: 11,058 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Oscar-winning documentarian and gleefully relentless political provocateur Michael Moore may be a vociferous critic of the American corporatocracy and a dedicated champion of the working class, but he’s nonetheless a multimillionaire many times over who is no stranger to luxurious residential circumstances, as evidenced by the sprawling and casually luxurious lakefront compound in Central Lake, Michigan, his new ex-wife, Kathleen Glynn, put up for sale with an automotive industry fat cat-worthy price tag of $5.2 million. According to property records we perused, the equally loved and loathed lefty liberal rabble-rouser — his next film “Where to Invade Next,” his first in six years, will make its debut at the Toronto Film Festival in September — and Ms. Glynn, who collaborated on and produced a number of her ex-husband’s early cinematic exposes, including “Bowling for Columbine,” “Farenheit 9/11” and “Sicko,” purchased the Upper Michigan property together in December 1995 for $290,000. The property was transferred over to Miz Glynn exclusively earlier this year, presumably as a condition of their divorce decree.
Current listing details show the two-parcel compound — about three hours by car northwest of his economically ravaged hometown of Flint and about an hour outside Traverse City, where Mister Moore founded a film festival in 2005 — spans 3.62 acres with about 300 feet of scenic, Torch Lake shoreline. The estate, which the Detroit News once described as “two large houses joined at the hip, bordered by a third house,” includes an 11,058-square-foot main residence — a rustic-luxe, modern-minded play on a lodge-like log cabin — with 7 bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms plus a self-contained guesthouse cottage and what listing details describe as an “executive office” with separate entrance above the two-car garage. Make of it what you will but, in fairness, the Washington Post reported last year that Mister Moore repeatedly complained in his divorce filings that it was Miz Glynn who, a handful of years ago, spearheaded an embarrassingly expensive renovation and massive expansion that cost more than five times what she told him it would and ballooned the house to its current size.
A capacious, cathedral-ceiled foyer with rugged, hand-hewn log walls and a winding custom staircase leads into an also double-height sitting room with river rock fireplace and glass sliders that open to a lake-view deck. The grandly scaled but laid-back room is flanked by a more cozily proportioned den/TV lounge and a spacious eat-in kitchen fitted with granite countertops on Shaker-style cabinetry painted either steel-blue or tomato red. There are all the customary stainless steel appliances usually found in most multimillion-dollar mansions as well as a supersized center island with integrated butcher-block topped snack bar. Beyond the kitchen an oversized dining room has a soaring, vaulted ceiling and spills out to a lake view through accordion-style folding glass doors. An adjoining sitting area has another wood-burning fireplace and a secondary staircase that, along with an elevator, provides access to all three floors of the mansion. A meandering library loft overlooks the dining room and leads to a series of guest bedrooms with pitched and wood-paneled ceilings as well as a commodious master suite with fireplaced sitting room, and a large lake-view bedroom and private access to a shared deck plus dual closets and a fancy bathroom appointed with his ‘n’ her commodes. The lower level accommodates an unfinished area prepped for a home theater and a fitness room chock-a-block with exercise equipment that we’re certain at least a few of his detractors will scoff the — ahem — Rubenesque Mister Moore has probably never seen, let alone used. The separate and spacious guesthouse includes a living room with fireplace, a fully equipped eat-in kitchen, main-floor master bedroom with French door access to a screened porch and a second-floor loft bedroom with bathroom and kitchenette. Landscaped gardens and stone paths link the main house to the guesthouse and the deck along the rear of the mansion, which includes a shaded dining veranda, steps down to a flagstone terrace and, beyond that, a bilevel deck as the lake’s edge that connects to the estate’s private boat dock.
It was revealed during the couple’s contentious divorce and since widely reported that Mister and ex-Missus Moore own a total of nine properties. As far as this property gossip can tell, most of them appear to be investment properties in Michigan, but they also keep a three-unit combination condo on a high floor of a high-end if undistinguished, full-service building in New York City’s historically liberal Upper West Side that — as best as we can tell from a careful parse of confusing property records — they picked up in the last days of 1996 for $1.272 million.
Listing photos: Real Estate One