Heiress Huguette Clark’s home has sold for $14 million after it sat empty for more than 60 years. The French-style chateau sits on 52 acres of woods, and the home is now owned by fashion designer Reed Krakoff and his wife.
The 14,266 square foot mansion was originally purchased in 1951 as a refuge during the Cold War.
Huguette Marcelle Clark
Huguette Marcelle Clark was the youngest child of U.S. Sen. William Andrews Clark (1839-1925), one of the copper kings of Montana, a railroad builder, founder of Las Vegas, and one of the richest men of the Gilded Age.
Huguette, born in Paris in 1906, died in 2011 at age 104, just two weeks short of her 105th birthday. The shy painter and doll collector had lived the last 20 years of her life in a series of simple hospital rooms in New York while her homes in Connecticut, California and New York were unoccupied.
Her Connecticut home originally hit the market in 2006. She agreed to sell the house to raise cash for the millions in gifts she was giving to her nurse, friends and strangers. The property was first listed at a price of $34 million.
She rejected an offer for $25 million, because the appraisal had been a bit higher at $26 million. An accepted offer at $21 million fell through when the market crashed in 2008. That’s when the house led to a discovery of Clark’s reclusive life.
This reporter noticed the house atop the real estate listings, when it was priced at $25 million, and saw that town records showed the house as being vacant since the owner bought it.
Home Sat Empty
The home sat empty and she never moved in any furniture into the unoccupied house. It became 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. That wasn’t true.
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.