Presidential Connections Abound in Connecticut’s Most Expensive Home
Who wants to make real estate great again?
This house in Greenwich, Connecticut, isn’t just the most expensive in town. It’s the most expensive home in the entire state.
Listed at a mind-boggling $45 million, this waterfront estate used to be home to Donald and then-wife Ivana Trump, when Donald was just a Democrat-voting real estate tycoon and Ivana was his first and only wife.
Want to know more? Check out these little-known facts about one of the most expensive properties in the United States, located at 21 Vista Drive.
Trump Bought It at a Bargain
Donald and Ivana purchased the mansion — also known as Haroldyn House — for just $4 million in 1982.
To no one’s surprise, they dressed it up in gold.
Inside the Makeover and Re-Do
When Trump owned this property, he put his definitely-not-tacky trademark of gold and over-the-top nouveau riche décor.
Making a Statement
“When Donald and Ivana had it, they had it decorated very lavishly,” listing agent Tamar Lurie told the Wall Street Journal. The new owners undid all of that through a series of renovations.
According to the Connecticut Post, Donald and Ivana purchased the mansion during the same time Donald had bought the Plaza Hotel in New York City, so they used many of the same furnishings to make their Greenwich mansion sparkle.
“Decorwise, it was all gold leaf — all of this was gold leaves all over the place. It was kind of dramatic,” Lurie told the Connecticut Post.
Ivana Trump Won it from Donald
Ivana and Donald had a bitter divorce in 1991. Donald had been cheating on Ivana — the mother of Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivana Trump — with Marla Maples in a much publicized affair.
Ivana won this estate from her ex-husband in the divorce proceedings. She held onto it until 1998, when she sold it to the current owners for $15 million.
Ivana also won $14 million, an apartment in Trump Plaza and access to Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for one month a year.
Who Owns it Now?
Robert Steinberg and his wife, Suzanne, bought the property in 1998 from Ivana. Robert Steinberg is a retired Bear Stearns executive.
Another tidbit: the Steinbergs have also purchased a $9.5 million Florida estate once owned by Tom Petters, a disgraced businessman serving a 50-year sentence for a $3.7 billion Ponzi scheme in 2008.
Explore Tons of Square Footage
In total, the mansion is 19,773 square feet, which comes to $2,276 per square foot for the $45 million estate.
An Expensive Hallway
So, for example, if one of the closets is eight square feet, it’s essentially an $18,208 closet. How much do you think this hallway is worth?
By comparison, the median price per square footage of homes of a house in Greenwich is $609 (Greenwich is expensive).
Three fully equipped staff apartments make up the additional square footage.
Does it Have a Presidential Front?
Is it just us, or does it seem like the architects had a bit of inspiration from the White House?
You could certainly say it has presidential aspirations. Although any resemblance to the White House stops at the front porch.
Step through the front door and you’ll find a breathtaking entryway, with a butterfly stairway framing a castle-like archway below an epic three-tiered chandelier.
The entryway is much more subdued from when Donald Trump owned the property. Back then, the walls along the staircase showcased a hand-painted countryside mural, while the walls below the stairs were paneled mirrors.
Some Old World Charms Remain
Despite the Trumps’ garish architectural assault, the Georgian Colonial retains its original feel. This is especially apparent in the mansion’s expertly decorated living room, which includes a 19th century fireplace.
However, the home isn’t too old. It was built out of brick in 1939 for $200,000 and originally included a bowling alley, which, sadly, is no longer present.
Additionally the new owners have renovated and added more than 4,000 square feet to the property.
Behold the Georgian-Style Bathroom
If any room in this house screams Georgian style, it’s this bathroom — and that may not be a bad thing.
While there are some “Hey! Look at me!” features — like the nearly full-length stained glass window that looks out over the pool or the wall-to-wall ‘90s mirrored paneling (Trump’s remaining influence?) — this room does have some cool period touches.
Mint green ceramic tiles flank the whole space, and they go well with the honey-toned wood on the built-in dresser (yes, those were a thing).
There’s a pedestal sink, light fixtures that almost look like they should be gas lit and even a few Georgian style towel hooks.
Party in the Basement
One newer addition to the property is an expanded basement, which includes a tremendous home theater.
With wall spots for movie posters, a projection screen and tiered seating for 22 people, it’s a great spot to watch movies. Also downstairs: a gym, a billiard room with wet bar and an additional family room.
There’s even a children’s room, so you can keep an eye on your kids while you hustle your friends and drink.
Sweat the Sports Courts
Catch the ocean breeze while putting at your leisure: the property comes with your very own putting green, beautifully situated by the shoreline.
Do You Think the President Ever Got a Hole in One?
Of course, the all-weather tennis court and outdoor pool both feature views of the gorgeous waterfront.
Take the Elevator, Pick a Bedroom
When it’s time for bed, pop in the elevator and ride it all the way up to the top level.
That’s where you’ll find six bedroom suites, including a master bedroom fully equipped with a fireplace, an office and a sitting room.
It’s on the Gold Coast of the Gold Coast
You’re getting the utmost privacy from nature itself: 21 Vista Drive is located on six acres of a private peninsula abutting Long Island Sound.
Location, Location, Location
The property’s just one of many wealthy homes on Greenwich’s wealthy six-mile coastline that has been home to the wealthy elite. Numerous politicians, from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton to John Kasich, have visited this area to woo donors and raise funds for their political aspirations.
So if you’re looking to extend your reach into politics, this ridiculously expensive home might be for you.
There’s Lots of Room for Entertaining
This home’s built for galas and fundraisers. It’s got:
* A dining room that can seat 20 people
* 10 full bathrooms.
* Three half-bathrooms.
* 10 bedrooms.
There’s also a guest house to store away guests you don’t actually like, but require their political influence to bend the American Dream in your favor.
By the Water
Additionally, there’s ample indoor and outdoor patio space, and enough lawn space to throw a party big enough to woo donors.
Sprinkled throughout the property are several types of weeping trees, including a gorgeous weeping cherry.
Weep at Those Trees
Imagine taking a stroll throughout these six acres of well-manicured grounds.
Sure, there might be a lot of open lawn and not too many trees — you get water frontage instead, which isn’t a bad trade off — but the trees that are there are beautiful.
It’s Not Your Typical Indoor Lap Pool
This indoor lap pool has some quirky features. Rather than a glass ceiling, the lap pool sits under cathedral ceilings, making the space feel more like a bathhouse than an indoor swimming hole for the family.
On one side, the room is flanked by windows overlooking a wooded area, hanging lanterns, and rows and rows of picture gallery walls.
On the other, the stained glass feature window from the on-suite bathroom becomes a sort of Georgian focal point.
The whole room has central heat and air through floor vents along the tile floor, so be mindful of those toes.
As a bonus, the empty corner comes complete with one potted hydrangea.
A $45 Million Waterfront?
At $45 million, 21 Vista Drive is an unusually expensive property, even for the town of Greenwich.
As the Connecticut Post points out, only five listings over the last 15 years in Greenwich have met or eclipsed $30 million. Greenwich’s second-highest listing, the Leona Helmsley estate, has been reduced from $49.9 million to $29 million over the last two years.
This home has been on-and-off the market since 2009, when it appeared for $50 million.
What's With the Price?
What’s with the price? According to the listing agent, it’s because of the property’s unique waterfront access.
“There are very few properties like this, something with six acres on the water on a peninsula like this,” Lurie told the Connecticut Post. “This is what we're selling. It's the land. It's the view.”
And of course, a 20,000 square-foot, 40-plus room house.
It’s quite the price to pay for a mansion on the waterfront. But it also might be the best place on the market to step into politics.