Fashion designer Reed Krakoff and his wife Delphine paid just $14.3 million for a French-style chateau sitting on 52 wooded acres which has lain empty for more than sixty years.
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Reed and Delphine Krakoff have picked up what looks like the bargain of a lifetime, paying $14.3 million for a house that originally went on the market in 2006 at a price of $34 million.
The property, situated in New Canaan, Connecticut was owned by Huguette Clark, who passed away in 2011, at the ripe old age of 104 stands out not only because of the longevity of its previous owner, but also because, although she had it bought it in the early nineteen fifties, she never spent a single night under its roof,
Ms. Clark was the youngest child of the fabulously wealthy William Andrews Clark, one of the pioneers of commerce in the United States during the Nineteenth and early Twentieth century, who made a vast fortune in copper mining, railroads and construction.
According to rumors, Ms. Clark bought the house during the early years of the “ Cold War” between the United States and the USSR as a possible bolt hole in the event of a nuclear attack, although she reportedly rarely visited the New Canaan estate, known as Le Beau Chateau, which has 22 rooms, nine baths, 11 fireplaces and an extensive wine cellar, of course without any wine.
Ms. Clark had an entire wing added to Le Beau Chateau shortly after she purchased the property and about fifteen years invested around two million dollars upgrading the property, despite the fact the Glasnost was in full swing. During the sixty years that she owned the property, Ms. Clark also made provision that the $160, 000 property taxes were paid , as well as the salaries of two caretakers housed in cottages set on opposite sides of the gated driveway entrance, situated in a remote country lane.
Huguette Clark also owned no less than three luxury apartments in the same building at 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park, which were sold individually for a total of $54.8 million, with a Santa Barbara, California property being bequeathed to the Bellosguardo Foundation for the arts, the largest beneficiary of the Clark estate.
In her advancing years as her health deteriorated, Ms. Clark actually spent the last 20 years of her life in a private hospital room in New York.
After Ms. Clark passed away, no less than nineteen of her relatives challenged her $300 million last will and testament, claiming that she was mentally ill, with the case being rapidly settled out of court in September 2013.
Now the Connecticut home will have new owners in Reed and Delphine Krakoff, who with their four children will be able to enjoy all of the luxury and tranquility that Le Beau Chateau will undoubtedly afford them, with Krakoff already stating that he has no plans to sell off any of the 52 acres of land that his property sits on.
The Krakoffs are also the current owners of Lasata, in East Hampton, the girlhood home of Jackie Kennedy Onassis for which they paid $24 million in 2006, although they recently sold their six story townhouse on New York City’s swanky East 70th Street for $51million.
Karl Obert, from the book Empty Mansions
Reed Krakoff graduated from the Parsons School of Design, he was employed by the Ralph Lauren Corporation for five years, before being appointed as creative director for the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation. In 1996 Krakoff began his long association with Coach, being given a key management role by the company’s iconic founder Lew Frankfort. During his 14 years at Coach, the company’s fortunes grew considerably, with sales rising from around $500 million annually to over $4 billion.
In April 2013, Krakoff announced his intentions to leave Coach within the coming twelve months in order to concentrate his activities on developing his Reed Krakoff brand.-