LOCATION: Nashville, TN
SIZE: 5,601 square feet, 4 bedrooms 4.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Country-pop singer/songwriter Taylor Swift may only be in her very early twenties but she’s amassed four Grammys, seven AMAs, six CMT Music Awards, one MTV Video Music Award and 13 Teen Choice Awards. She’s also already begun to snatch up and sell off high-priced real estate like a property obsessed celebrity twice her age.
In late 2009 the poised young lady dropped $1,990,000 on an airy and very grown up 4,062 square foot penthouse pad at the Adelicia, a newly-constructed full-service building in downtown Nashville, TN. In September 2010 she forked over another $1,400,000 for an historic red brick mini-mansion hard up on a busy road a wee bit south and west of downtown Nashville. Most reports from the time suggested the house was purchased for her family. Seven months later the fresh-faced phenom splashed out $3,550,000 for a quaint mini-compound tucked up into a secluded and bucolic canyon setting in Beverly Hills, CA. Yes, puppies, believe it or not there are indeed pockets of pastoral perfectness right in the heart of dirty ol’ Los Angeles.
After some interior renovations and privacy making landscaping projects, the young country queen had a real estate change of heart and flipped the Nashville mini-mansion back on the market with an asking price of $1,450,000. A real estate whistle blower down in Nashville, let’s call him A.M. Uhsnitch, told Your Mama that Miss Swift and the Family Swift ultimately found the residence too small for their needs and too crowded on to a too small lot on a too busy street. We’re not really sure why these things didn’t occur to her/them before they signed on the deed’s dotted line but occur to them it did not, apparently. It’s also all-but across the street from a middle school, which means there’s probably a noisy parade of tweens and titanic SUVS streaming past the house at least twice a day 8 or 9 months of the year.
Anyhoodles poodles, although Miss Swift has yet to unload her unwanted white elephant in Nashville, Your Mama hears through the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine that Miss Swift and The Family Swift have already plunked down $2,500,000 for another historic and storied estate just about 3.5 miles due south in the upscale Brentwood ‘hood due south of downtown Nashville.
In the early 1930s insurance executive and one-time U.S. ambassador to Denmark Guilford Dudley Jr. bought up large swathes of rural property south of Nashville. Eventually he came to own hundreds of acres of rolling hills and pasture lands encircled by miles of white picket fences where he raised thoroughbred horses. His horse farm homestead came to be known as The Northumberland Estate.
At some point–we don’t know when and can’t be bothered to find out–The Northumberland Estate was divided and subdivided, some of which became a swanky gated enclave where in the spring of 2008 Oscar-winning Aussie actress Nicole Kidman and her country-pop music crooning hubby Keith Urban spent $3,470,000 for a 10,925 square foot mansion often referred to as the Queen of Northumberland. If the Urban-Kidman crib is the Queen of Northumberland, then the smaller but no less grand mansion Guilford Dudley Jr. built in 1934 as the residential centerpiece of his vast Northumberland Estate is the king.
The Guilford family sold the mansion and it’s surrounding grounds, by then whittled down to just 5.69 acres, in September 2004. The buyer, as per property records and previous reports, was Luke Lewis–the chairman of Universal Music Group–and his wife Lauren. The Music City royals paid, according to the records Your Mama peeped, $1,500,000 for the estate. The couple embarked on an extensive and expensive renovation and restoration of the property that played up the 1930s razzle-dazzle glam of the mansion’s architecture and elegantly-proportioned entertainment areas and seamlessly married it to modern amenities and conveniences.
A double-gated driveway streaks across a tree-sprinkled pasture and curves up to a scallop-patterned cobblestone motor court in front of the imposing and genteel southern plantation style residence. An ambitious and stately Greek Revival-style columned portico makes an in-your-face grand but still inviting statement that marks the main entrance to the mansion. Listing information Your Mama teased up out of the interweb shows the multi-winged main manse measures 5,601 square feet and includes 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. A two-story detached guest/pool house, added in 1964, measures 2,087 square feet and has indoor and outdoor living/entertaining spaces plus 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
Guests who pass through the palatial portico are greeted in a somewhat tight but opulent entrance hall with black and white checked marble floors, a glitzy wall of smoked mirrors, and a gently curving staircase with scrolled wrought iron railing. The mansion’s main rooms include a 31-foot long living room with hardwood floors, vaulted ceiling with custom carved decorative brackets, and a wood burning marble fireplace. The banquet hall-sized foot formal dining room has chestnut-colored parquet floors, a barrel vaulted ceiling with massive moldings, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling paned glass panels and French doors that open the room to a courtyard patio on the backside of the house.
A separate butler’s pantry connects to the fully updated and upgraded center-island eat-in kitchen, complete with full-size side-by-side stainless steel fridge and freezer, two dishwashers, honed granite counter tops, custom Shaker-style cabinetry with glass-fronted uppers, breakfast bar, and a desk/workstation. A nearby laundry facility is convenient for washing linens and things.
A boozer-friendly 600-plus square foot sun porch–more grandiosely called a “terrace room” in marketing materials–has a gleaming white Carrara marble floor with black marble inlay and wood burning marble fireplace. Liquor lovers like Your Mama will appreciate the built-in wet bar decked out with a marble counter top and built-in ice maker and mini-fridge. One entire wall of floor to ceiling paned glass windows overlooks tiered formal gardens while another wall has two sets of French doors that open the room to a covered terrace that leads out to the swimming pool.
Cozier quarters include a quite petite office/study with paneled walls and built in bookshelves and a significantly larger den/family room with white-painted paneled walls, built in bookshelves, hardwood floors, gas fireplace and an attached terliting and bathing facility that can also be accessed from the poolside terrace by swimmers and sunbathers.
The master suite claims hardwood floors, generous 10-foot ceiling, wood-burning fireplace, a wall of closets with antique French smoked mirror doors, and a small sitting area tucked into a large bay window with garden view. Besides the mirrored wardrobes in the bedroom, clothing and other persona items can be luxuriously organized in two additional closets, a separate closet for shoes and another for linens. The attached bathroom has a grey and white marble tile floor, dramatic domed ceiling with crystal chandelier, separate soaking tub and marble shower, and a pair of pedestal sinks.
The swimming pool and surrounding terrazzo terrace separate the main house from the two-story guest house (above), done up and did over in a similarly glammy 1930s meets southern traditional manner. The living/lounging area has herring bone patterned hardwood floors, wood burning marble fireplace juxtaposed against pecky cypress wood paneled walls, a kitchenette/wet bar, and floor to ceiling paned glass windows and French doors. A surprisingly glamorous spiral stair with custom wrought iron railing connects the two floors of the guest/pool house that is, let’s be honest hunties, larger and much nicer than the homes of most people. Upstairs each of the two bedrooms has hardwood floor laid at a 45-degree angle and a private marble and glass tile bathroom.
A columned covered patio off the pool house overlooks the swimming pool and has a large wet bar with granite counter tops. Although the house is really far too traditional for Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter’s personal taste in architecture and day-core, we do like that a person is never more than just a few steps from a booze storage cabinet and/or wet bar in this house. A nearby storage room for rafts and water wienies offers utility hook ups so that Paul the hunky pool man can launder the towels without ever having to glide his virtually hairless suntanned body into the main house where our imperious and ever-horny house gurl Svetlana would no doubt climb all over him like a starving monkey on a banana tree.
The walled and gated grounds include a separate electronically gated entrance for landscapers, caterers and other domestic helpers who the owner might not want to darken the drive or muddy the motor court with their pee-cup trucks and beat up Dodge Neons. Well-tended grounds dotted with statues and fountains surround the house and include broad flat lawns, massive and mature shade trees, tiered formal gardens, flower cutting garden and plenty of room for a tennis court and/or vegetable garden should the Swift family desire them.
Additional fancy features of The Northumberland Estate that may have appealed to young Miss Swift and her family include custom landscape lighting, hardcore security system, removable child-proof fencing around pool, integrated speaker system throughout the house and outdoor entertainment areas, and an automatic and integrated bug repellent system in the outdoor entertainment area.
Over the years the house played hostess to scads of presidents and other politicians (Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Gore), Tinseltown luminaries (Bob Hope), and any number of country music moguls and superstars (George Strait, Reba McEntire, and the boys from Brooks & Dunn). No doubt with Miss Swift as the new owner, the parade of high profile people who will visit the house will continue unabated.
With a penthouse in downtown Nashville, a house to sell and a house to decorate in an leafy nearby neighborhood and a mini-compound in the canyons behind Beverly Hills, Your Mama imagines young but rich and powerful Miss Swift will keep an army of smart architects in angular eye glasses and nice, gay decorators in Gucci loafers employed for months and perhaps years to come.
listing photos: Fridrich & Clark