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The Lauder Greenway Estate is a 50 acre private property with a French Renaissance mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. For a time, it was the most expensive home in United States history.

Lauder Greenway Estate
Arial view of the estate
Alternative namesCopper Beech Farm
General information
TypeMansion
Architectural styleFrench Renaissance
Address499 Indian Field Road
Town or cityGreenwich, Connecticut
CountryUnited States
Completed1896

Built for industrialist John Hamilton Gourlie in 1896, it was purchased by the Lauder Greenway Family in 1905 and would stay in that family's hands for a majority of its existence.[1] Considered "...Greenwich, Conn.’s last Great Estate, an opulent robber baron-era property enveloping 50 prized acres along the tony New York suburb’s waterfront." It is the largest surviving Gilded Age mansion in Connecticut.[2]

HistoryEdit

The property was purchased by James Greenway Sr. and his wife Harriet Lauder Greenway, the daughter of George Lauder and niece of Andrew Carnegie, in 1905. At the time of purchase, the estate included 57 acres and included fruit-bearing orchards, a chicken and pig farm, as well as the house, to which the family added two wings in the early 1910s.[3]

In the coming years, the stone-and-shingle mansion, built in the French Renaissance fashion, would crown an estate that grew to more than 100 acres at one time. Then the family began donating large parcels of land for various causes. In 1918, for example, James and Harriet gifted one of the islands to the town of Greenwich; the property, located about two miles south of Greenwich Harbor, now serves as the popular Island Beach. The couple donated the first ferry providing transportation to the beach for town residents two years later.

By 1920, the estate housed several generations of the Lauder Greenway family including George Lauder, Dr. and Mrs. Greenway, and their sons G. Lauder Greenway, James Greenway, and Gilbert Greenway, and their daughter Ann who would later marry John Griswold of the Griswold Family. After the death of Mrs. Greenway's brother George Lauder Jr. and sale of his Greenwich estate "Tignabruick" (since demolished), the estate was the gathering place for the wider family.

This estate remained in their hands until the death of G. Lauder Greenway, who had died childless, after which the estate was sold privately.

DescriptionEdit

Main HouseEdit

The main house spans 15,000 square feet across four floors. It has 12 bedrooms scattered among the top two floors, seven full baths and two powder rooms. A dark cherry wood-paneled library with curving corners and glass-fronted bookcases typical of the Victorian era sits off of a three-story wood-paneled entry. The dining room has oak columns, a fireplace and an ornate plaster tracery ceiling. There’s also a garden room, with walls of windows looking out on the water, and a solarium with stone-tiled floors and a fountain adorning the back wall. A wine cellar, a third-floor staff wing, and a three-story. The current main kitchen, tucked down a hallway accessed by discreetly hidden doors in the wood-paneled entry foyer, sits at the end of the house. Its dumb waiter allows access to the home’s original kitchen, located in the basement among the additional staff quarters.[4]

Fireplaces adorn nearly every entertaining space and many of the bedrooms open onto sleeping porches once used during summer months before the advent of air conditioning. In the entry space, an antique open-air elevator that one might expect to find in a throwback Parisian hotel chugs slowly between floors at the push of a button.

Out BuildingsEdit

The grounds begin with a 1,500 ft driveway accessed through a three-bedroom gatehouse then a forest. Within the main compound there is a stone carriage house with a clock tower, a six-car garage, and multiple greenhouses.[5]

A 16-sided pool faces the Long Island Sound, accompanied by an adjoining spa and a nearby Victorian tea pagoda turned pool house, plus a grass tennis court. The antique squash court has been converted into an unknown space.

Gardens & WaterfrontEdit

A cast iron gate swings open onto sunken gardens meticulously manicured, tropical plants like palm trees grace the terraced lawns abut a full, private, century-old apple orchard.

The estate has roughly one mile of water frontage and a private island off the coast. The banks of the property are perched above a sandy beach, also private to the estate, accessible by wooden stairs. The backyard sits 40 feet above mean tide, meaning it remains safe distance from the sea.

Current UseEdit

The entire estate was sold in 2015 to an unnamed buyer for $120,000,000.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Greenwich's Copper Beech Farm sells for unprecedented $120 million". CT Post. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Touring Greenwich's (Newly Price-Chopped) $140 Million Copper Beech Farm". Forbes. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Greenwich's Copper Beech Farm sells for unprecedented $120 million". CT Post. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Connecticut's Copper Beech Farm Sells for a Record $120M". Curbed. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Greenwich Estate Listed For A Whopping $190 Million, Still Needs Some Work". Business Insider. Retrieved 28 December 2018.

Coordinates: 41°01′08″N 73°36′06″W / 41.0189°N 73.6018°W / 41.0189; -73.6018