Flood-proof and able to withstand gale-force winders, modeled after a tooth, this “Dome of a Home” stands up to a storm. Designed by a former dentist, his theory is that the molar is one of the strongest things in the human body, and he built the home with that thought in mind. Their former home was flooded three times in five years, and they watched their main floor of their previous home carried away by storms… that served as the inspiration for their design of their current home. They applied for a grant to rebuild from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and received it, one of only two accepted out of 11,000 applications. Three stories high, 72’ x 54’ long, the curved lines and round shell allow wind and water to move around and underneath the home rather than against it. Homes usually need walls to be 1-2’ thick to withstand wind pressure, but the walls of this home only need to be 3-4” thick. The ground floor is only used for parking. The main floor, the second story, has 3 bedrooms, split-level living room, and kitchen overlooking pool and hot tub. Master bedroom and bath and “honeymoon suite” featuring a deck overlooking the Gulf of Mexico are on the third story. The owners have developed a business now around building similar structures. TIME magazine has stated that curvilinear architecture is one of the top one hundred advancements for this century, and have been used by Frank Ghery for the designs of his Guggenheim Museums. For more information see DRAGON SPEED HOMES.
$31,000,000 is the asking price for Donald Trump’s Upper East Side 12 room, 5 bedroom, 7 ½ bath 6,192 sq ft 24th Floor Penthouse New York City condo at 502 Park Avenue, between East 59th and 60th streets. The building has a full-time doorman, concierge and health club on the premises. You didn’t ask… but maintenance and carrying charges are $7,424/month and taxes per month are $8,848. You only need to put 10% down. TRUMP APARTMENT FLOOR PLAN
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, the 1936 US Post Office at 95 North County Road, Palm Beach, may be sold. It is a historic landmark that lies south of the Breakers Hotel. The property has been appraised for $5MM. Offering the town the opportunity first to buy the landmark post office, they were not enthusiastic about doing that. Before asking for proposals from prospective buyers the Postal Service must determine how to provide services to the area in the absence of this post office facility. You can let the Town Council of Palm Beach know how you feel about this by calling the Mayor’s office at 561-533-5000
The beautiful 18th C. white marble palace, Palazzo Grassi, on the Grand Canal in Venice is owned by Francois Pinault, the French fashion-retail mogul and contemporary art collector. His paintings and sculpture collections show beautifully in this setting.
Sun Valley, Idaho is tucked far away from the madding crowd. The area was known back in the mid-30’s and thereafter as a playground and resting place for the rich and famous. It opened in 1936. Celebrities such as Ingrid Bergman, Clark Gable and Errol Flynn quickly adopted Sun Valley as their winter playground. Arthur Godfrey, would broadcast from there. Years later, the locale's ideal ski conditions, art galleries and five-star restaurants still resonate with notable homeowners, including Arnold Schwarznegger, Bruce Willis, Steve Wynn, Theresa Heinz Kerry, Jann Wenner (Rolling Stones founder) and billionaire businessman and speculator George Soros, who has a ski chalet in adjacent Ketchum, pictured above. Just 5 minutes from town is an expansive wilderness. Celebrities are spotted in town, but residents just smile and keep going, affording a sense of some anonymity. The area features a laid-back atmosphere and easygoing neighbors. A good recipe for relaxation and privacy.
Along with a house in Kensington and a villa in Edinburgh, Rowling owns a lovely estate about 90 minutes from Edinburgh in Perthshire, Scotland, with rolling hillsides, wooded glens, vast farms and dramatic mountains, the perfect setting for the next Harry Potter novel. The estate is on the banks of the River Tay near Aberfeldy. Ten years ago Rowling was a struggling single Mom on wlfare, and Harry Potter, friends and fiends, have brought her a long, long way, and deservedly so. The series has sold over 4,000,000 copies. She now ranks in the Sunday Times Rich List (Lodon) as the 12th richest woman in Britain. Forbes ranked her as the 48th most powerful celebrity of 2007. Tme Magazine named her its 2007 Person of the Year, for the social, moral and political inspiration she has given her fandom. The Potter series are the fastest selling books in history, transdlated into 65 languages, and the brand is worth $15-BB
2006 and 2007 found Coldwell Banker listing Beverly Hills as the most expensive housing market in the US, median home price over $2.2MM. Famous film stars of the early “silent movie” industry, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. transformed the sleepy Beverly Hills suburb of Los Angeles into a glamour capital of the world as others in the industry followed their lead and built their own mansions. Mary Pickford earned more than a million dollars a year back in “those early days.” They transformed a house they purchased into an elaborate 22-room mansion. Architect Wallace Neff redesigned the house, some said in the manor of a hunting lodge. He had frescos painted on the ceiling and added fine art from around the world. The couple were considered “Hollywood Royalty”. Guests included the most famous folks of the time from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Lord and Lady Mountbatten to Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, Charlie Chaplin, Tom Mix, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Noel Coward and Rudolph Valentino. Due to an extramarital affair he had, Pickford divorced Fairbanks but kept the mansion. A series of unfortunate incidents drove her to alcohol and she became a recluse, though remarried to Charles “Buddy” Rogers, 12 years her junior, and having adopted two children together. The house fell into neglect and she saw less and less of her friends. After a series of subsequent owners, the house was bought, demolished and a new Georgian-style home was built by Meshulam Riklis and his wife, Pia Zadora. The only remaining portions of the old estate were the pool, front gate and a section of the original North Wing. There are 17 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, though an advertisement for sale showed 30 bathrooms. Included were an elevator, ballroom sized living room, indoor glass dome spa, gym, disco and parking for 30 cars. Living sq ft: 25,243. Lot size: 2.25 acres. In 2005 the house was listed for $27MM and is now owned by UNICOM International a software company, purchased for a reported $15MM.
North of Malibu and Van Nuys, and just 30 minutes north of West Los Angeles, this Spanish-style ranch sits on 140 acres of land, has a 17,000-square-foot main house, six guest houses, 10 staff houses, and a 37-stall “world class” equestrian facility. The Spanish colonial style ranch has been restored, following the strict architectural guidelines relating to that period. There is a newer 17,000 sq ft Clubhouse with fabulous 360 degrees of the property, mountains and landscaping. Gardens include a gazebo that seats 30 and large patios. A spacious dining/conference room and media room are featured. The grounds also include a pond, boat dock, gardens, a pool, multiple terraces and patios and even a helipad. It is surrounded by thousands of acres of land, part of the Simi Valley Parks District. The area was originally inhabited by the Chumash Indians, with several sites they once occupied on the ranch. From 1795 to 1865, the land was held by two different Spanish landowners, and then American interests took over. In the late 1920’s, a Los Angeles businessman bought the land and built the old brick home which is still there. Now corporate events, receptions and weddings are held there and the property has been used in films.