SELLER: John Rudey
LOCATION: Greenwich, CT
SIZE: 13,519 square feet, 12 bedrooms, 7 full and 2 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Buckle your real estate safety belts, butter beans, because—in case any of y’all have managed to not already hear—timber tycoon John Rudey has heaved his epic Greenwich, CT estate on the open market with a equilibrium altering and publicity ensuring $190,000,000 price tag, a sky-high figure that blows to smithereens the U.S.’s next most expensive residential real estate listing—Tom Hicks’s equally epic but land-locked Dallas (TX) estate—by $55 million
Copper Beech Farm, as Mister Rudey’s vast Long Island Sound-front estate is known, encompasses two mainland parcels plus two tiny undeveloped islands that all together total 50.6 acres with about a mile of private shoreline in the heart of Greenwich’s hyper exclusive Mead Point area.
The main residence was originally erected in 1898, according to online marketing details, and was previously owned and long-occupied by Harriet Lauder Greenway, the late daughter of industrialist George Lauder who, along with Andrew Carnegie, created the industrial juggernaut U.S. Steel. Mister Rudey quietly acquired the estate in an off-market deal about 31 years ago, according to previous reports, and hasn’t been publicly available for purchase in more than a century.
An 1,800 foot long driveway passes through entry gates before snakes through the thickly treed grounds to the main house, a hulking, twin-turreted stone edifice somewhat vexingly described in listing details as a “Neo-French Renaissance Victorian.” Listing details go on to show the robber baron worthy 13,159 square foot behemoth has a dozen bedrooms—some with fireplaces and/or adjoining sleeping porches—and a total of 7 full and 2 half bathrooms.
A cavernous, three-story high wood-paneled foyer is sure to impress guests—not to mention the FedEx delivery guy/gal—and sets the stage for the grandly scaled and elegantly appointed public rooms that include a formal living room with marble fireplace and French doors that connect through to a solarium wrapped in windows on three sides. The oak paneled formal dining room has a second fireplace and a decorative tracery ceiling while the paneled library has yet another fireplace, built-in bookcases and a bowed window with curved glass. A family kitchen adjoins the dining room and sits in convenient proximity to a sky-lit wing that contains a long, oval-shaped family room. The original, dumb-waiter equipped staff/catering kitchen kitchen is located in the basement—as was customary in a late 19th-century house of this magnitude— as are a wine cellar, one of several laundry rooms, storage space, staff quarters and more.
The second floor master suite has a fireplace, a private sleeping porch, dressing room and a marble bathroom. There are five more family bedrooms on the second floor—two of them oval shaped, one with a fireplace and a sleeping porch. Four more family bedrooms and a massive multi-purpose room share the uppermost third floor with a domestic staff wing.
Additional buildings on the property include—but may not limited to—at least two greenhouses, a stone carriage house with clock tower and parking for half a dozen vehicles and farm equipment, and a three-bedroom stucco and shingle gate house with rocking chair front porch.
The expensively and meticulously maintained grounds include extensive, stone-walled formal gardens and allées, an apple orchard, vast swathes of lawn the roll down towards the rocky coastline, and a tree-shaded waterside grass tennis court with viewing pergola. The geometric-minded, 14-sided swimming pool (and spa) stretches 75 feet and is serviced by a nearby octagonal pool house with changing and bathing facilities.
Some of the other exceptionally well-heeled homeowners on Mead Point, according to property records and other online resources, include a bevy of financiers and captains of industry such as William Fertig, Michael Urfirer, Michael Petrick Maurice Cunniffe, George Lindemann Sr., and Thomas O’Malley whose entire estate sits on a private island accessed by a long bridge.
Pastoral and posh, Greenwich is renown for its exceedingly high priced residential real estate. However, hunties, even swanky enclaves like Greenwich have their real estate glass ceilings and it would seem that Mister Rudey has a high mountain to climb to get anywhere near his remarkably tumescent $190 million asking price. After first being listed in 2007 at $125 million, Leona Helmsley’s Dunnellen Hall finally sold in 2010 for $35,000,000. The following year a four acre waterfront spread sold for $39.5 million and back in 2004 an 80-acre horse farm in the bucolic, equestrian oriented Conyers Farm area sold for $45 million.
listing photo: David Ogilvy & Associates