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The Krakoffs buy a house with a history

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 Krakoff ,   Delphine Krakoff / Getty

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.

Reed Krakoff ,   Delphine Krakoff house

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.

Reed Krakoff ,   Delphine Krakoff  House

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 BELLOSGUARDO THEN: This family photo,    taken in the 1940s,    shows the interior of the library,    including a portrait of Huguette’s sister Andrée over the fireplace. The furniture has been covered,    but otherwise the rooms in the mansion remain as they were 60 years ago.

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.-




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