Huguette Clark Mansion, Subject of Local Folklore, Sells for $14M

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 02:00 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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The 52-acre mansion estate of Huguette Clark, a reclusive heiress who purchased the property in New Canaan, Conn., during the Cold War as a refuge, has finally been sold for $14.3 million, less than half of the original asking price, after being empty for more than 60 years.

Clark purchased the property in 1951 but never lived there or moved furniture in. Instead, the long-divorced heiress told her friends and employees that she intended it as a place that they all could go if New York City were threatened by nuclear attack, NBC News reported.

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The mansion, Le Beau Chateau, was originally listed for $34 million when it hit the market in 2005, according to the New Canaan News.

Fashion designer Reed Krakoff and his wife Delphine purchased the property through Realtor Barbara Cleary on Monday. Delphine Krakoff once worked for Christian Dior, where Clark bought clothes for her extensive doll collection. 

Clark, who died at 104 in 2011, was the daughter of U.S. Sen. William Andrews Clark (1839-1925), who was one of the copper kings of Montana, a railroad builder, and a founder of Las Vegas. Her father was one of the richest men of the Gilded Age, according to NBC News. The shy painter and doll collector spent the last 20 years of her life in a series of simple hospital rooms in New York. Her homes in Connecticut, California, and New York remained unoccupied.

Clark's mansion was the subject of local lore in affluent New Canaan, where some townspeople said the owner had not moved in after her new husband died at sea on the honeymoon, which is not true.

The estate sits behind a small forest of trees in north New Canaan. Cleary told the New Canaan News that the Krakoffs will own the entire estate, despite that it was recently rezoned into 10 subdivisions.

The 22-room mansion has 11 fireplaces, a service courtyard for parking cars, a full basement, a walk-up attic and a terrace. The mansion was built in 1937 by the New York architectural firm Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker, who also designed the art deco-styled Times Square Building and One Wall Street.

"It's good for us to know that this incredible and historical estate will remain intact as of one of the area's crown jewels," Cleary told the New Canaan News in February.

Reed Krakoff, who has his own label and was the chief designer for Coach Inc., recently sold the couple's townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side for $51 million, according to NBC News.

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