Thursday, June 30, 2011

Palm Beach Social Diary

In between Tuesday’s late afternoon rain showers, Palm Beach real estate agents toured Casa Sin Nombre during a reception held by Columbia University’s listing brokers, Corcoran and Brown Harris Stevens Palm Beach, introducing local brokers to the extraordinary estate.
$59 million Palm Beach estate sale to benefit Columbia University
scholarship program


By Augustus Mayhew

Although Columbia University will probably not confer an honorary doctorate to the real estate agent that sells its Palm Beach Midtown $59 million property, the fortunate broker might instead reap a $1+ million commission check.

John Kluge
With CU’s scholarship program the designated beneficiary from the sale of the late John Kluge’s Palm Beach enclave, the property’s co-listing agents, Corcoran Group brokers Paulette Koch and Dana Koch and Carol Digges and Carole Hogan with Brown Harris Stevens Palm Beach, hosted a reception Tuesday afternoon at Casa Sin Nombre, the more than four-acre Midtown oceanfront estate that Kluge (CC’37) donated as part of a reported $400 million gift to his former alma mater.

In 1995, media mogul John Kluge, once ranked by Forbes as the world’s wealthiest individual, acquired four separate Midtown parcels comprising several residences and combined them into one more than four-acre lushly-landscaped ultra-private compound. Kluge named his estate Casa Sin Nombre, now consisting of a 12,000-square-foot garden house, used as the owner’s principal residence, a 6,000- square-foot Mizner-designed oceanfront house, and three ancillary buildings for guests and staff. Kluge donated the estate to Columbia University in 2007, retaining a life estate until his death in September 2010. His pledge to Columbia is the largest ever devoted exclusively to student aid at a single institution of higher education in the United States.

Here are some snaps of Casa Sin Nombre during my visit on Tuesday afternoon.
The setting for several of the island’s charity events, Casa Sin Nombre’s gates along Middle Road were opened Tuesday for the exclusive preview.
The Canary Islands? No, the immense otherworldly Palm Beach estate of the late multi-billionaire John Kluge, once known as the world’s richest man.
Paulette Koch, The Corcoran Group. Dana Koch, The Corcoran Group.
Carol Digges, Brown Harris Stevens Palm Beach. Ava Van de Water, executive vice-president and broker at Brown Harris Stevens Palm Beach. Carole Hogan, Brown Harris Stevens Palm Beach.
The Garden House
Originally built in 1935, the Garden House was renovated and expanded; pictured above, the formal entrance.
The Garden House’s entrance rotunda. The arcade connects the rotunda with the Garden House’s principal rooms.
The casino opens onto the courtyard and overlooks the gardens. The Kluges’ antiques and artworks were removed from the house, not too be confused with the auctions surrounding a former Mrs. Kluge, Patricia Kluge’s ongoing reversal of fortune; the Palm Beach house’s furnishings have been re-staged for the sale.
A tabletop art work.
The coral-tiled courtyard between the casino and the main house.
A view of the arcade from the courtyard. The arcade is detailed with faux scenes.
The intimate dining room features a fireplace.
The dining room ceiling beams are artfully detailed.
Karen Lehrman. Earl Hollis.
This living room floor covering adds an exotic touch to an otherwise traditional setting.
A striking carved glass art work. A touch of decor.
Palm Beach real estate agents give the once-over to the Garden House.
The view from the kitchen.
An upstairs dressing room at the Garden House.
The gardens separate the Garden House from the Ocean House.
The statuary adds animation to the gardens.
A view of the Garden House dining terrace looking west from across the reflection pool.
The Ocean House
What is now called the Ocean House was first known as Audita, designed in 1921 by Addison Mizner for Standard Oil heir Elizabeth Kay and her husband Alfred Kay. Much like Amado, the house’s original South Ocean Boulevard façade, pictured above, is now the east elevation; the rear of the house, the west elevation, was converted into a front entrance.
Now accessed from Middle Road, the Ocean House’s west elevation was remodeled with additions into its front entrance.
The formal entrance to the Ocean House.
The courtyard between the main house and the loggia.
The loggia opens onto the ocean terrace and the courtyard.
The more casual Ocean House living room overlooks the ocean.
An upstairs guest bedroom at the Ocean House.
A decorative touch in the guest bedroom. A colorful hall lantern.
The ocean view from an upstairs bedroom following an afternoon thunderstorm.
The Ocean House, east elevation.
For further information contact Columbia University’s representatives: Paulette Koch and Dana Koch, The Corcoran Group; Carol Digges and Carole Hogan, Brown Harris Stevens Palm Beach. Christie’s International Real Estate is providing global marketing services.

Photographs by Augustus Mayhew

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