Versailles, Florida
July 28, 2012 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Orlando, FL - 10 ac, 90K sq ft, 13 bed, 30 bath, 20 car garage, 3 pools, 2 tennis cts, bowling alley, skating rink - $100M

Lauren Greenfield's documentary The Queen of Versailles has provoked a lawsuit from its subjects.
posted by Egg Shen (140 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sink, Florida, sink.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:57 PM on July 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


It is not finished.
Why pay $100M?
Pay $10M and finish it yourself.
posted by davebarnes at 7:02 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or just pay a good psychiatrist a couple of hundred thousand--you will realize you don't need this piece of shit, and save $99,800,000.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:04 PM on July 28, 2012 [19 favorites]


Audio interview with the director here.
posted by dobbs at 7:04 PM on July 28, 2012


What a cramped little hovel, they can't even fit their baseball diamond in without running over onto the parking lot? Overimproved, if you ask me.
posted by contraption at 7:05 PM on July 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think it's really only David Siegel who is suing, not really his wife so much.
posted by hippybear at 7:07 PM on July 28, 2012


grotesque
posted by a humble nudibranch at 7:08 PM on July 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


previous related
posted by stbalbach at 7:10 PM on July 28, 2012


I'm not super down on the very rich spending outrageous sums on stuff, but who needs that many bedrooms? I'd love to have a pool and a tennis court, but I can only sleep in one bed and I don't really want to invite 13 people over to spend the night that often.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:13 PM on July 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I were to spend $100M on a house, I'm pretty sure I'd want to customize that myself.

Also, I'd never spend that much money on a house.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 7:16 PM on July 28, 2012


Wow, you could go for a month without pooping in the same place twice.
posted by ryanrs at 7:16 PM on July 28, 2012 [28 favorites]


I thought bowling was the sport of the lower middle class.
posted by tommasz at 7:16 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the viewpoint of an ex wire guy...I used to be a Crestron programmer...a damned good one, too. On one project, I spent a year of my life and well over 1200 hours just in writing code, installing a system into a house that was 18,000 sq feet under roof. That system controlled every electron that passed through that house, from lighting, to the geothermal HVAC, to the digital video distribution and A/V, to pool control, security/access control, and had nearly 20 touchpanels to interface with it. The house literally knew who was pulling into the driveway and would perform certain actions based on that without the homeowner having to do anything other than drive up to the house. It would also send the homeowner an text message telling him to head for cover in the event of severe weather, while battening down the hatches with motorized shutters over the windows and doors.

I haven't a freaking clue what I could do in a house that size. At some point, things just start becoming redundant, and boring. "Oh, great, another audio zone to add in."
posted by rhythim at 7:18 PM on July 28, 2012 [22 favorites]


I'm just gonna copy what I said about this in the other thread, as it still applies: 'It comforts me to know that if the drought continues as it has been, that lovely sinkhole lake will dry up and turn into a fetid stretch of decomposing muck, with bull gators bellowing loudly in the remaining damp spots.'

I think it would be pretty cool to have that near my home. Hrrrrrrrrrrrr. OOOOORRRRRR. I doubt the sort that would build a place like this are properly capable of appreciating it.
posted by cmyk at 7:19 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I might just snap that up as a tear down, you know how hard it is to find a property with 2 tennis courts and a bowling alley? For some reason it is always either/or.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:22 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is that a house, or a fortress against the rest of the world?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:30 PM on July 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, you could go about a week without pooping in the same place.

(fast metabolism version)
posted by Earthtopus at 7:30 PM on July 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ah, Florida real estate. The hubris of this story reminds me of the empty pair of highrise apartments in downtown Ft. Myers. I read an article about them a few years ago that had a quote from someone who moved in thinking that it would be amazing to have the whole place to themselves, only to realize how creepy it was to live in an empty highrise.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:36 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


That place is bigger than my apartment!
posted by LordSludge at 7:38 PM on July 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


Why do rich people all seem to have such crappy taste?
posted by octothorpe at 7:43 PM on July 28, 2012 [19 favorites]


Surprised they brought up the French Revolution in the description. I can't imagine they really want to bring up mental images of hordes of citoyens running amok and maybe lopping off a few well-coiffed heads for good measure. "Come buy this palace! The original one's last owners lost their heads to revolutionaries!"
posted by ambrosia at 7:50 PM on July 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good grief, how many floors are there in that thing, anyway? I've stayed in smaller hotels! All that for just thirteen bedrooms, in a monstrosity squeezed onto a weirdly-shaped and smallish excuse for an 'estate', facing out over a line of apparently-dead trees and a big mudhole.... and why in the world would anybody need three pools or thirty bathrooms?!?

This whole place just screams "tasteless!"
posted by easily confused at 7:50 PM on July 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Handyman special!
posted by swift at 7:50 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hear they are turning it over to the city to be used as an orphanage, although the bat cave below will be used by one very special cop.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:51 PM on July 28, 2012 [17 favorites]


The house isn't that much of a deal; compare it with the house of the Greentree estate in Manhasset, NY. (Google maps at the same scale). And Greentree is still about 400 acres, after donating to various causes.

It's owned by a foundation now, but was for many years the cozy home of John and Betsey Whitney. But that's oooold money, so who cares?
posted by hexatron at 7:51 PM on July 28, 2012


Let them eat Key Lime Pie.
posted by argonauta at 7:53 PM on July 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


13 bedrooms for 30 bathrooms?? A little backwards, isn't it?
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 7:55 PM on July 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


the following advertisement is for jim boonie only
posted by mulligan at 7:57 PM on July 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why do rich people all seem to have such crappy taste?

Because you mostly just hear about the ones with eensy-weensy wieners who have something to prove.
posted by Ickster at 7:57 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, Lauren Greenfield's vocal fry.
posted by davel at 7:57 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, you could go for a month without pooping in the same place twice.

In the NYT article about this place last month, they mentioned that the family's dogs were never trained so there was dogshit all over the house, because apparently it is easier to just hire more housekeepers than it is to housebreak your pets. So creepy.
posted by elizardbits at 7:59 PM on July 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Come buy this palace! The original one's last owners lost their heads to revolutionaries!"

Only a small proportion of Versailles' owners were decapitated.
posted by pompomtom at 7:59 PM on July 28, 2012


3 pools, 2 tennis cts, bowling alley

Is that tennis courts or tennis cats? Because that would matter to me.
posted by heyho at 8:05 PM on July 28, 2012 [17 favorites]


When I make my first million I'm going to move to Florida and build a skyscraper. I will live in the top floor of the skyscraper, and offer attractive benefits packages to the laborers who built the skyscraper, so they can live their petty, nasty little lives in the floors below. Then when it all goes to shit I will do coke at 4am and just ride the elevator up and down the building screaming.
posted by passerby at 8:06 PM on July 28, 2012 [48 favorites]


I haven't a freaking clue what I could do in a house that size.

I'd finally have enough room to shelve all my books.
posted by Justinian at 8:06 PM on July 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Why do rich people all seem to have such crappy taste?

I blame Architectural Digest.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:09 PM on July 28, 2012


I would dress up like a bat and irritate the hell out of my neighbors.
posted by elizardbits at 8:10 PM on July 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


Why do rich people all seem to have such crappy taste?

Go through everyone you know and consider which of them would invite a film crew into their house.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:11 PM on July 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


In the NYT article about this place last month, they mentioned that the family's dogs were never trained so there was dogshit all over the house, because apparently it is easier to just hire more housekeepers than it is to housebreak your pets.

Ya, but the article also says that according to Seigel, it was just the one cancer-stricken dog that wasn't housebroken.

I mean, obviously the house is ridiculous, but it sounds like the film was at least a little bit truthy.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:11 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


rhythim: "I haven't a freaking clue what I could do in a house that size. At some point, things just start becoming redundant, and boring. "Oh, great, another audio zone to add in.""

I know a guy who built a house about that size. He built it because he didn't have anything better to do with the money. He figured he could sell it for a tidy profit at some point. Until then, it's a pretty nice place to spend some time. The hilarious thing is that he doesn't even spend very much time there. He's usually halfway across the country. No tennis court, though.

I know another guy who bought a somewhat larger house on about 300 acres on a new-at-the-time lake (The person who built it in the 70s named it Graystone Manor). He bought it for a million dollars, hung onto it for 6 or 7 years until they decided to buy a "town" house when their kid got old enough for school, and eventually sold it for much more than they paid for it. That one does have a tennis court. And a basketball court. It's now an executive retreat center. They took out the pool, bricked up the garage, and sold 2/3rds of the property, unfortunately. And they ruined the great room when they painted the fireplace chimney. Sad.
posted by wierdo at 8:15 PM on July 28, 2012


No house is worth anywhere near $100 million if you can see other houses from it, or vice-versa. There appear to be clear lines of sight on at least six neighboring homes.

Nevermind that it's got an above ground swimming pool. *cue Jeff Foxworthy joke*
posted by Sys Rq at 8:16 PM on July 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know, if we all pooled our money ... pulls out a calculator ... wait, $8000+ each?!

Pepsi Blue? Yeah, good luck with that.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 8:16 PM on July 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I make my first million I'm going to move to Florida and build a skyscraper. I will live in the top floor of the skyscraper, and offer attractive benefits packages to the laborers who built the skyscraper, so they can live their petty, nasty little lives in the floors below. Then when it all goes to shit I will do coke at 4am and just ride the elevator up and down the building screaming.

It's killing me that I can't remember the title of the J. G. Ballard book you just summarized.
posted by ook at 8:24 PM on July 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


You serial poopers are missing the point. With 13 bedrooms and 30 baths, every resident and guest can poop simultaneously.
posted by zippy at 8:26 PM on July 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


The results when they all flush at the same time would be priceless, however.
posted by wierdo at 8:38 PM on July 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


yeah, but could the plumbing handle that?
posted by easily confused at 8:39 PM on July 28, 2012


metafilter: poop simultaneously
posted by elizardbits at 8:39 PM on July 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's like a big naked scoop of ice cream waiting to be attacked and consumed in a destructive orgie.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:42 PM on July 28, 2012


ook- well there are a couple, but it's probably either Highrise or Super-Cannes or Cocaine Nights, or the short story about a man that won't leave his house and starves and the house grows and consumes him w/ emptiness. Highrise is about a highrise cut off from the world, Super-Cannes and Cocaine Nights are about hyper-rich resort communities... but yeah, I think you mean Highrise.
posted by kittensofthenight at 8:44 PM on July 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why would someone spend all that money to live in Orlando Florida when you can get the same experience for much cheaper by drinking ammonia?
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 8:48 PM on July 28, 2012 [37 favorites]


Really a lot of his work is about the deleterious and psychotic effects of living within and around industrial architecture. The person moving into the abandoned skyscraper for fun and losing themselves in the building is so very Ballardian. ANd it sounds fun doesn't it? Cept for they probably won't have any coffee or record shops nearby...
posted by kittensofthenight at 8:50 PM on July 28, 2012


It's cliche at this point...but money really can't buy you class, can it?
posted by mynameisluka at 8:54 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


30 bathrooms? George Costanza always did want to be an architect.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:57 PM on July 28, 2012


I once designed my 'dream house'. It looked like this. Symmetrical floor plan, lots of circles and semi-circles.

So congratulations. You've met the high standards set by an eleven-year-old boy from a hick town armed with some graph paper, a protractor, and a good half hour one afternoon after school.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:57 PM on July 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


2 bathrooms per bedroom? Man, if you're that incontinent, a colostomy is a much cheaper and easier way to go.
posted by c13 at 8:57 PM on July 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's Gormenghast!
posted by fredludd at 9:07 PM on July 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


i dunno. if you're a billionaire, and you expect to be doing a lot of entertaining, sure, why not. if you want to send the message "hey, check it out, i've got 100 million bucks", well, that house sure does it. also your kids get room to run around where it's safe i.e. indoors. kind of like the shining, but without the ghosts. me, i can generate a practically inexhaustible list of better ways to spend 100 million bucks, but i don't have 100 million bucks, so it's kind of moot.
posted by facetious at 9:07 PM on July 28, 2012


It's Gormenghastly!
posted by the noob at 9:21 PM on July 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


What the hell happened to you America? You used to be cool. You used to build houses out of beer cans and converted 747s and gigantic henges of limestone. Now look at you. Look what you've become.

If I had $100 million I would buy this, and find a way to put it on this, and I would be epic forever.
posted by Ritchie at 9:26 PM on July 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


Sometimes Florida really is a Carl Hiaasen novel.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:31 PM on July 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


A couple of years back, there was a property in Newport, RI, that sold for 6 mil. It had a Victorian era mansion, restored and renovated, a colonial era light house converted into a modern multi-family guesthouse, a large stables converted into a climate-controlled five car garage, a tennis court and a couple of acres of immaculate lawn right on Narragansett Bay, with the nearest neighbor a quarter-mile down Ocean Drive.

For 100 million, these bozos got a crap building in a crap location in a crap city with chintzy neighbors less than a spitting distance away.

I hate to say they deserved it, but oh, holy god, did they deserve it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:36 PM on July 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


Good grief this is beyond ugly. The photo of the unfinished front of the house, in drab blue and grey, looks like a prison. I vote that it is just left alone for nature to move in, as it will end up being a spectacular example of abandoned architecture porn. i want to see creepers climbing that ugly unfinished staircase, and out of the windows.
posted by Joh at 9:50 PM on July 28, 2012


Creepers like the plants or creepers like the dudes who stand at the bottom of the escalators at Comic Con to take upskirt photos?
posted by elizardbits at 9:56 PM on July 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Idea = teh awesome.

Execution = meh-diocre.

Also, 100M buys you a heckuva lot more than that anywhere in the world.
posted by porpoise at 9:58 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's like that story with a magical typewriter in which everything you typed out came true...except the typewriter is a copy of The Sims and everything you built actually was built.

brb, trying to figure out how to use the 'rosebud' code in real-life.
posted by littlesq at 10:03 PM on July 28, 2012


You can buy islands for less than 100mil. ENTIRE ISLANDS. But no, let's live in Orlando instead, it'll be rad.

WHY EVEN
posted by elizardbits at 10:04 PM on July 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


ugh i am so angry about how close together all those tacky ghastly monstrosities are
posted by elizardbits at 10:05 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"It's Gormenghast!" posted by fredludd

Does that mean it comes with a cat room?
posted by littlesq at 10:06 PM on July 28, 2012


I'll bet that they'll come down.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:10 PM on July 28, 2012


I bought that house and then found out it was only the third largest privately owned house by square footage and I'm really pissed. Curse you, William Cecil and Gary Melius! Now I have to add a 90,000 square foot bathroom.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:13 PM on July 28, 2012


I can't say I've ever qualified Orlando as a "city". More like a really big parking lot.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:15 PM on July 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I once lived in a world without cat rooms and here I am, purchasing cat rooms through an Internet Protocol. I look in the mirror and I don't recognize myself, but really my cats and I no longer care.
posted by passerby at 10:17 PM on July 28, 2012


Why do rich people all seem to have such crappy taste?

When middle-class people have taste that bad, they just have to content themselves with buying a Thomas Kinkade painting or a Chevy Suburban or a vacation in Branson; nobody makes a documentary about it. Give people like that a billion dollars and this is what you end up with.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 10:22 PM on July 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


There's a Dunkin Donuts and a 7-Eleven within walking distance, so that's pretty convenient. That probably ups the value a bit.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:28 PM on July 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


I wonder how much of this--the excess, the size, the over-the-top ornamentation--is because that's their taste and how much is actually there to impress other people. I mean, if you told them, you can have any kind of house you like, but nobody but you will ever see it, is this what they'd come up with? I'm guessing no, and there's something really, really sad about that.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 10:31 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Creepers like the plants or creepers like the dudes who stand at the bottom of the escalators at Comic Con to take upskirt photos?
They are both welcome to move in. Can only improve the neighborhood!
posted by Joh at 10:31 PM on July 28, 2012


i want to see creepers climbing that ugly unfinished staircase, and out of the windows

You'll need to put a sign under the window first.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:35 PM on July 28, 2012


I wonder whether this is $100M in bad architecture or an invoice for $100M in bad architecture when reality is $7M in bricks, commodes, labor, etc...and $93M in cocaine.
posted by maxwelton at 10:40 PM on July 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hey, I figured it out! Doesn't Florida have a bankruptcy law that means your home is untouchable? Could that explain the location?
posted by ryanrs at 10:53 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a Dunkin Donuts and a 7-Eleven within walking distance, so that's pretty convenient. That probably ups the value a bit.

You know people like this don't walk anywhere. Come on.
posted by rainperimeter at 10:54 PM on July 28, 2012


Not every rich person is like this, but there's sort of a rich 'in crowd' that their entire lives revolve around showing up everyone else in their circle. It's all about what they can buy, what they have, what they own, the power they wield. They really enjoy controlling other people's lives as well. After some time when their family starts to pull away from them (the ones that can't be bought), they consider them to be ungrateful dogs.

This isn't a house. Like the pyramids, it's a tomb.
posted by Malice at 11:11 PM on July 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


No house is worth anywhere near $100 million if you can see other houses from it, or vice-versa. There appear to be clear lines of sight on at least six neighboring homes.

Check out the Real Estalker blog. There are apparently a surprising number of homes in that price range.
posted by The Sprout Queen at 11:21 PM on July 28, 2012


Creepers like the plants or creepers like the dudes who stand at the bottom of the escalators at Comic Con to take upskirt photos?

Neither. Creepers like the Minecraft ones that sneak up on you, then explode and destroy whatever you just spent hours building.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:41 PM on July 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


... and yet they can't afford a 4% tax increase.

Still, it almost seems like we'd be doing them (and everyone else) a favor if we just took 70% of their money and did something not-awful with it.
posted by Davenhill at 11:58 PM on July 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos writes "I'd love to have a pool and a tennis court, but I can only sleep in one bed and I don't really want to invite 13 people over to spend the night that often."

I'm guessing once you get into having a pool and tennis court even if you only have a dozen guests once a year they'd be put out if you ask them to sleep on air mattresses in the family room.
posted by Mitheral at 12:02 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


See, why don't they just lay it out on the table and build a fucking pyramid. Insanely rich people, if you are listening (and you are), I would have so much more respect for you if you built pyramids like the god-emperors you know you are. Light the pyramid on fire when you die, to make a point about how neither flame nor man can touch your legacy.

But no, lets just build a big ho-hum mansion and call it a day. Ugh.
posted by passerby at 12:03 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brocktoon: "I can't say I've ever qualified Orlando as a "city". More like a really big parking lot."

Surprisingly, the areas nearest downtown Orlando are actually pretty decent these days. Not that the rest of the metro is much fun. (says the guy who has to go there next weekend..thankfully far from the theme parks)

twoleftfeet: "There's a Dunkin Donuts and a 7-Eleven within walking distance, so that's pretty convenient. That probably ups the value a bit."

The house is here. The nearest 7-11 is actually 15 miles away by car. If you can dock at Bay Hill, you could boat most of the way and have a reasonably short walk/ride to the 7-11 from there. Of all the places in the Orlando metro area to build something, that seems like the worst of the worst.
posted by wierdo at 1:04 AM on July 29, 2012


I agree with Sys Rq; while this house is terrible in and of itself, the fact that it is being plopped down right in the middle of a bunch of ordinary (if largish) sized houses brings it to a whole new level of sheer awfulness. It is those assholes who park Hummers in compact spots write large. If you're going to build an estate, however gauche, at least put it in the middle of a large tract of land so no-one else need witness your shame.
posted by Justinian at 1:06 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those are not ordinary houses.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 1:51 AM on July 29, 2012


It's killing me that I can't remember the title of the J. G. Ballard book you just summarized.

High Rise.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:56 AM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


...they're space stations!
posted by ChuraChura at 4:54 AM on July 29, 2012


I'd pay $100 million for 2 tennis cats.
posted by srboisvert at 4:56 AM on July 29, 2012


I agree with Sys Rq; while this house is terrible in and of itself, the fact that it is being plopped down right in the middle of a bunch of ordinary (if largish) sized houses brings it to a whole new level of sheer awfulness.

When I clicked on the link I just automatically assumed big crazy house on a big crazy piece of land. I actually stared at the air shot and scratched my head, not sure I was seeing it right. wth? They stuck this in a suburban development? Then I laughed.

I live in rural Ontario, farm and cottage county next to Lake Huron. A couple of years ago some bigwig from Blackberry started to build an rumored 45-55 mil house/cottage on the lakefront which is insane for this area. It's a crazy place but at least it's secluded. The only way you can see the thing is by puttering by on a boat.

I just don't get what the owners were thinking....
posted by Jalliah at 5:06 AM on July 29, 2012


I can't say I've ever qualified Orlando as a "city". More like a really big parking lot.

I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto and always describe it to people a giant parking lot where every parking spot comes with a house.
posted by srboisvert at 5:13 AM on July 29, 2012


Ms. Greenfield that they didn’t set out to build America’s biggest house, but after they’d included everything they both wanted — the bowling alley, the 10 kitchens, the health spa — it just turned out that way.

I am wracking my brains trying to figure out why anyone would need 10 kitchens. I understand the 13 bedrooms because they have 8 kids and I can wrap my head around the 30 bathrooms (one per bedroom, one off every main room so you don't have too far to travel) but having 10 kitchens seems like too much trouble. Each one would have to be stocked, all the food stuffs monitored to prevent them spoiling before use, and each one will have to be cleaned.

Staff kitchen
Industrial-type kitchen for dinner parties
Smaller kitchen for family meals
Dorm room-type kitchen for the kids
Intimate snack kitchen for the master bedroom
And?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:40 AM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ron Swanson kitchen for steak and burgers
Swanson Hungry Man kitchen for TV dinners
posted by zippy at 5:53 AM on July 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Maybe each kitchen has its own staff and they each specialize in a different cuisine. That would be extraordinarily extravagant, but also pretty cool. You could do your own Iron Chef competitions pitting the kitchens against each other.
posted by ryanrs at 6:00 AM on July 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Are the interior shots of this the same (or really similar) to a picture that was faked a year or two ago that a Mefi user outed and got the photographer in hot water? Or is my memory going bad again?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 6:24 AM on July 29, 2012


Are the interior shots of this the same (or really similar) to a picture that was faked a year or two ago that a Mefi user outed and got the photographer in hot water?

I'm pretty sure that was a different house.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:10 AM on July 29, 2012


wierdo writes "If you can dock at Bay Hill, you could boat most of the way and have a reasonably short walk/ride to the 7-11 from there."

The house comes with a boat house on Lake Baker.

Secret Life of Gravy writes "I am wracking my brains trying to figure out why anyone would need 10 kitchens."

If you like cooking and want to be where the party is at while cooking then the multiple kitchens make "sense". Most people in that boat just design the house around the kitchen but obviously that isn't going to work in this case.
posted by Mitheral at 7:15 AM on July 29, 2012


dunkadunc: "Sink, Florida, sink."

Hey now! I'm moving there in a couple of months. Cool your jets, hater.
posted by Splunge at 7:26 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


dunkadunc: Sink, Florida, sink.

Splunge: Hey now! I'm moving there in a couple of months.


Doubleponysterical.
posted by zippy at 7:49 AM on July 29, 2012


I've lived in Florida for over 30 years and I vote "sink" too. This place is just a double-butt-scented furnace full of awful.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:59 AM on July 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Maybe the Army Corps of Engineers could help.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:05 AM on July 29, 2012


A darling little love nest that simply screams: TAX ME!
posted by Trochanter at 8:09 AM on July 29, 2012


Staff kitchen
Industrial-type kitchen for dinner parties
Smaller kitchen for family meals
Dorm room-type kitchen for the kids
Intimate snack kitchen for the master bedroom
And?


The mindset of these people is obviously something that the rest of us can only guess at in bewilderment. But I do recall an issue of Architectural Digest devoted to island homes in which Robert Stigwood of Cream/Bee Gees/Saturday Night Fever fame, explaining the separate guest cottages on his estate in Bermuda, said, "People place different values on privacy. I rate it highly."

So theoretically, if you had a bunch of houseguests but wanted to spend as little time with them as possible*, there would be an advantage in providing them with their own kitchen.

Then again, if you build that many rooms, eventually you're going to run out of different kinds and just start repeating yourself. And 13 kitchens is probably more useful than, say, 13 solariums.

* And truly, what caliber of acquaintance are these people likely to attract?
posted by Egg Shen at 8:23 AM on July 29, 2012


Staff kitchen
Industrial-type kitchen for dinner parties
Smaller kitchen for family meals
Dorm room-type kitchen for the kids
Intimate snack kitchen for the master bedroom
And?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy


I toured a big kooky mansion in Pittsburgh that had each of those kitchens, and also these others:

Guest room in-suite kitchen
Grill room for steaks and burgers
Larger indoor BBQ for whole pigs and such
Specialty kitchen for sausages and smoked meats
Cake/cookie/ice cream kitchen in olde-timey parlor
Pretzel ovens and dough-mixers near the bar
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:32 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know a guy who built a house about that size. He built it because he didn't have anything better to do with the money.

Let no man wonder why I hate rich people.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:57 AM on July 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I had that kind of money?

I would retire, buy an apartment in a happening, fun city, put enough money into a trust so I could always cover living expenses, and donate the rest to a cause.

Fuck these people, and fuck the rest of them that were smart enough to not allow a movie camera into their mansions.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:04 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]



If I had that kind of money?

I would retire, buy an apartment in a happening, fun city, put enough money into a trust so I could always cover living expenses, and donate the rest to a cause.

Fuck these people, and fuck the rest of them that were smart enough to not allow a movie camera into their mansions.


This thread has got me thinking about what I would do as well is I had that kind of money to spend. I don't like big houses. I'm already living in a smaller house (1200sqqft) then I could technically afford by choice. When we were buying a place we dumped the first real estate agent we had because she kept trying to push us into something bigger and less a fixer upper because of our income level and investment blahditty blah. We liked the house. It's old. Has character and a bit of property. The property was just as important as the structure. I like outdoor space.

So I win the lottery.... I would have a hard time leaving this house. I love it. I wouldn't mind having a bit more property though so I would strongly consider finding somewhere else and move the house. It's already been moved once. I'd then keep renoing it and just expand on the renos more then we are already doing and of course have other people do it. I'd make my dream custom 'cooks' kitchen. Screw DIY, someone else can get covered in paint and dust. I'd extend one side out more to expand the kitchen and add a sunroom. I'd cover in the front porch to get a proper mud room. Stick a bathroom downstairs with a shower for easier outside access and extend one side out to add another bedroom, 3 would be perfect. I'd then build some sort of garage/workshop/studio combo so the basement could be used as another living space (a proper library!!!) and I could get my sewing and crafts out of the dining room. I'd also extend the bathroom to fit a two person tub and two sinks and do the expensive structural work to build a great walk in closet. I'd also create a kick ass tv/movie area in the living room. Outside I'd love an outdoor kitchen, a pool and a trampoline.

That's pretty much it. My perfect house.

I just can't see myself ever living in a much bigger house then I already live in let alone a mansion regardless of money. My aunt lived in a big house due to her husbands desire and hated it. It just made no sense to have all that space that barely gets used. I agree. When she divorced she ditched the place and moved into something a third of the size. Besides I'd likely be so busy traveling having a big place would just seem like a waste. I could see myself getting a few other apartment size places in some of the cities I would be visiting a lot though.
posted by Jalliah at 9:38 AM on July 29, 2012


Guest room in-suite kitchen
Grill room for steaks and burgers
Larger indoor BBQ for whole pigs and such
Specialty kitchen for sausages and smoked meats
Cake/cookie/ice cream kitchen in olde-timey parlor
Pretzel ovens and dough-mixers near the bar


Huh. So it's like regular people buying a waffle iron and a bread maker and a milkshake machine and a blender and a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and a food processor and a zillion other single-use specialty appliances, basically. That is, quite frankly, even more hilarious.
posted by elizardbits at 10:02 AM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also I would buy the aforementioned private island and a replica square rigged pirate ship and I would be the weirdo who lived alone on a private island with a pirate ship.
posted by elizardbits at 10:03 AM on July 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


the energy costs on something like that..

warm location. 2 acres + waterfront. 2000sq ft, outdoor kitchen, passive heating and cooling with automation and solar, garage workshop with lift and inbuilt drainage. and that's it. even that is excessive, but I guess I'm just a properly adjusted person and don't feel the need to show off. I'd rather keep my money quiet than rub it in everyone's face.
posted by ninjew at 10:09 AM on July 29, 2012



Also I would buy the aforementioned private island and a replica square rigged pirate ship and I would be the weirdo who lived alone on a private island with a pirate ship.

Ooooo. Okay I have to add to my perfect house now. I want a pirate ship! I'll have to get property on a lake and stick it at the end of a dock. It could be where any guests can stay and I can hang out in when I'm in the mood. I'd also love a cool tree house.
posted by Jalliah at 10:11 AM on July 29, 2012


When I was still in high school, I had a summer job with a landscaping company. One of our regular customers was the rich man with the big house in the country. We did a pretty good job on his lawn and his gardens, so one day he invited us in for a tour of the house. On the way in, we passed his wife, who was carrying a vacuum cleaner. The husband said, "I'm just taking the guys for a tour of the house." She said, "I won't be joining you. (looking at the vacuum cleaner) I've taken a tour of the house already today."

Which made me realise I should really question whether I ever want to own a big house because someone has to clean it.

There are a few things I would like in my dream house - a greenhouse to grow tomatoes, a desk large enough to open a newspaper completely, and an electrical system strong enough to run a little Beowulf cluster in the basement, but nothing that would cost anywhere near $100M.

(Although the pirate ship sounds pretty tempting. Will there be grog? and keel-hauling?)
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 10:19 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I had that $100 million.... I'd probably go live in the mountains (I've got a couple places in mind), and build a custom house: maybe two or three bedrooms; ONE kitchen 'cause I'm not insane; my place will be on a lake, but I'd probably spliurge and add a lap-pool. But above all else: there would be the library of my dreams..... ahhh, peace & quiet. It'll all be waaaayyy up off an unmarked driveway, off a hard-to-find country road.

Okay, what with land and building costs, I've used up maybe $1 million; set up a trust fund to cover future living expenses (like more books), and then enjoy giggling to myself as I write surprise anonymous checks to worthwhile causes.

Although I really like elizardbits' pirate ship idea.....
posted by easily confused at 10:21 AM on July 29, 2012


I agree that the house is gaudy and over the top and beyond comprehension, but....

Grill room for steaks and burgers
Larger indoor BBQ for whole pigs and such
Specialty kitchen for sausages and smoked meats
Cake/cookie/ice cream kitchen in olde-timey parlor
Pretzel ovens and dough-mixers near the bar


Now I want these things.
posted by meese at 10:22 AM on July 29, 2012


I'm pretty sure if you have a $100 million dollar house you have staff to clean it. In fact, the trailer shows the wife talking to someone who is probably the housekeeper or the nanny and saying basically "hey, at least if it never gets built, you won't have to clean it" and then there's a reaction shot of the presumed staff member rolling her eyes at the mind-boggling lack of tact amongst rich white people.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:23 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I had that much money I'd buy this office building, which is in foreclosure, and live in the gothic cupolas on the roof.
posted by octothorpe at 10:24 AM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


With eight kids 13 bedrooms do not seem excessive. 9 for the family. 3 for staff and a suitable guest room. The Gate House for the chaufer -grounds keeper. Two married couples for the house staff. A nanny/tutor for the children. So while it seems extravagant I don't see how it could be much smaller. 30 bathrooms seem a bit over the top' one for each bedroom. Two public rest rooms m/f for each side of the house on each floor. Two bathrooms/changing rooms for the outdoor pool. Two for the gym. One for the game room. One in the Gatehouse and two in the boat house. hmmm that is only 29 oh well.

You do realize that the structure is unfinished. The exterior and interior shots showing finished rooms and facades are conception shots in the style of Versailles. There is no drywall installed yet. The house does appear to be secured and weather tight.

The siting of the house is silly. I can't see anyone dropping that kind of money with neighbors so close. At best the property is worth the lots say 2 million apiece for 4 waterfront lots. 3 million for the other six lots. So 11 million plus 4 million in custom doors and windows. The shell needs to be razed the stained glass dome salvaged. Maybe a million there so 16 million all in.

Could be finished and serve as a home owners recreation center. Each resident buys a share for 100000 and can book the property. That would raise 30 million or so from the 300 or so home owners. Should be enough to buy it and establish a trust for maintenance.
posted by pdxpogo at 11:18 AM on July 29, 2012


You're missing the point. Seriously. This is $100m well spent for the owner.

It is large enough so that husband and wife need barely meet. They can invite their own friends and family over and not bother the other spouse.

This is way cheaper and less ugly than a billionaire's divorce. Job done.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:20 AM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think the bedroom count includes staff quarters. In comparably priced NYC apartment listings, staff quarters are often mentioned after the BR/BA count.
posted by elizardbits at 11:21 AM on July 29, 2012


New construction costs $200-300 per square foot. Why would someone pay $1000 per square foot to get a house that doesn't even fit their design? The list price is ridiculous.

Click the ad for EyeRecall on the house's web site for an interesting laugh. Someone is hoping to use the house's exposure to advertise their half-baked Web 2.0 venture.

This house deserves its own FPP.
posted by miyabo at 11:33 AM on July 29, 2012


But but but... it's in ORLANDO fer chrissakes!
posted by Ron Thanagar at 11:36 AM on July 29, 2012


> This house deserves its own FPP

Beese did it!
posted by Burhanistan at 11:43 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


In fact, the trailer shows the wife talking to someone who is probably the housekeeper or the nanny and saying basically "hey, at least if it never gets built, you won't have to clean it" and then there's a reaction shot of the presumed staff member rolling her eyes at the mind-boggling lack of tact amongst rich white people.

In the NY Times article it said they originally had 18 employees for the house they live in now but due to hard economic times they had to reduce the staff to 4. 18 employees! Again the mind boggles.

1. Day butler
2. Night butler
3. Housekeeper
4. Upper housemaid
5. Lower housemaid
6. Chef
7. Chef's assistant
8. Chauffeur
9. Nanny
10. Nanny's assistant
11. Children's maid
12. Head groundskeeper
13. Groundskeeper assistant
14. Repair/maintenance man
15. Laundry person
16. Personal secretary
17. Personal trainer
18. Errand boy

I truly cannot imagine have a large number of staff. If somehow I ended up with a ton of money I would have to live somewhere fairly small but with large grounds. I don't want a bunch of people in the house disturbing me but I wouldn't mind having a staff of gardeners.

Apropos of nothing, I remember a Dean Koontz novel that featured a movie star. The description of his house featured one room just for the patio furniture cushions. And that stuck in my mind as a marker of real wealth.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:47 AM on July 29, 2012


I don't think I'd need Wayne Manor if I were super rich, but if I did want a lavish mansion, I'd build the thing to look like a row of townhouses. Next I'd play up how trepidatious I am to have people over, because it's 'such a shithole, lol' and if people came to pick me up / drop me off, I'd always leave out of the 'townhouse' with the rusty screen door.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:52 AM on July 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


I started to type up a lengthy post about the Siegels but I don't have time to finish it. I've met the Siegels. I photographed them for a WSJ story - I'm probably the only photographer post-Greenfield to have photographed them with their permission. It's very easy to make them out to be awful people but the impression I got was that David is above it all and Jackie is just along for the ride. Jackie is extremely nice and made a point of telling me they didn't finish Versailles because they were trying to save David's business. I have my personal opinions about them but I really believe they see themselves as job creators who were just living the lifestyle they could afford while times were good. I like to think that everything's relative and the problems they're experiencing are much like the problems many American's are struggling with but obviously on a level of magnitude than many of us could only imagine.

The Versailles property really has to be seen to be believed. Pictures just don't do it justice. It reminded me of a Disney resort and I can't imagine anyone actually living in the place. There's over 10k of sq-ft that you don't even see when looking at the front of the building. It really is David Siegel's folly and I write that with a small amount of sadness for the man. There's so much of the Siegels in that property and so much disdain for what David tried to build for his wife that I wouldn't be surprised if Versailles sits rotting for the next ten years until it finally crumbles.

With that said, the worst part of the property is the fact that one of the members of Creed lives next door. They ought to knock a few million off the asking price for that awful fact alone.
posted by photoslob at 11:53 AM on July 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


Heh, I rather want to see someone buy it cheaply, turn it into apartments and watch the faces on the neighbors as they get people from a different social strata moving in.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:02 PM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know how much the Siegels have spent to build the thing? Not their fantasy of selling it for $100 million, but the amount they've already spent on the land and the building as is?
posted by easily confused at 1:38 PM on July 29, 2012


In the past people with that kind of wealth would have immense power over the lives of others. These days they build tacky mansions and everyone laughs at them.

That's progress.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:47 PM on July 29, 2012


Wait wait, if you dig through that listing it's actually only 23 bathrooms, so that's completely reasonable. Also it's 11 kitchens.

Also, it has an "adult movie theater" which is probably just called that to distinguish it from the theater for the kids but I like to pretend that it is named that for other reasons.
posted by ckape at 1:53 PM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


In the past people with that kind of wealth would have immense power over the lives of others.

In past economic downturns, people who lived lavish lifestyles in a place called Versailles had their heads cut off.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:04 PM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


easily confused the WSJ article says they have 50M of their money tied up in Versailles.
posted by pdxpogo at 3:31 PM on July 29, 2012


Mitheral: "The house comes with a boat house on Lake Baker."

That does you no good for going to 7-11 if you can't dock at the other end, hence the part about docking privileges at Bay Hill.

adamdschneider: "Let no man wonder why I hate rich people."

If your goal is to preserve your wealth until you have enough of it to make a difference in your community, houses aren't a terrible investment if you time things right. I guess if you want to hate a pro-legalization, pro-HCR (in the sense it's better than what we had before), fairly liberal Democrat, who gives several million dollars a year to charity in ways that don't get him tax deductions you're more than welcome to do so.

Don't worry, I know (and know of) some scum sucking rich, too. I used to hear some pretty interesting stories about the drunk Walton. She once fired her pilot in mid flight because he didn't bring enough of her favorite booze. She re-hired him at a substantial premium to his previous pay before he managed to land the plane somewhere in Alabama.

The point being, that as with every other social strata, there are decent rich people out there and there are indecent rich people out there. One must also keep in mind that most "rich" people look like paupers compared to the top 0.1%. Income inequality in this country is that ridiculous. I'm not going to cry for these "not as rich" folks, but let's keep a sense of perspective about ourselves. After all, they're usually the ones leading the revolution against the ultra-rich.

Secret Life of Gravy: "I truly cannot imagine have a large number of staff. If somehow I ended up with a ton of money I would have to live somewhere fairly small but with large grounds. I don't want a bunch of people in the house disturbing me but I wouldn't mind having a staff of gardeners."

I hate to admit this, but if I lived in a country where I could afford daily household help, I would happily pay the cost. It's really nice. What gets me, though, are the people who have the cook, the maid, and one nanny per child. That's a bridge too far. Too far, I say!
posted by wierdo at 4:53 PM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, it has an "adult movie theater" which is probably just called that to distinguish it from the theater for the kids

Also: washable surfaces.
posted by pompomtom at 5:33 PM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or you could do what Chris Eubank did and make affordable, nice public housing. I don't care if Jr bought himself a tractor-trailer, that was a really awesome move.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:12 PM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


By Jr I mean 'he'. JR never cared about the common man.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:13 PM on July 29, 2012



This thread has thrown up the 'if I had that kind of money' response quite a lot.
It is an interesting thing, that, the 'what I would do if I had $x million of $y billion'.

We feel it should be simple, but it doesn't seem to work out that way.

It's never just cash, unencumbered, sitting there waiting to be spent, unless its actual windfall money, like one of those ultra-jackpot national lotteries. Large corporate money is almost always leveraged and invested and tied up in myriad ways, with incomes flowing from it that tie into other revenue streams that are paying off other resources that generate other incomes, and such. Even large inheritances are usually tightly wound conglomorates of entities all feeding off each other, unless the executors or administratorsmust liquidate.

Thats why when a bubble bursts or a market collapses some wealthy folk lose the lot, rather than say, just the value of the assets tied to the collapsed market such as real estate or dot.com shareholdings, even though their assets might be very diversified.

I am not sure where I am going with this, to be frank- but to comment on the monumental hubris of a person who would plough $100m into a vanity venture that could not possibly generate a return and which, given the bizarre overcapitalisation of the land in this instance, actually represents throwing money away.

Perhaps thats the point of the 'what I would do with $x million' here in this instance- that, if I am being a little charitable to the owners here, we instinctively understand the foolishness of this particular construction, a poor taste extravagance of really quite epic scale- and relating to the embarrassment and naivety of it so strongly we mentally spend the money for them, in better ways?
posted by Plutocratte at 12:00 AM on July 30, 2012


BLACKADDER: So what would you do if I gave you a thousand pounds?
BALDRICK: I'd get a little turnip of my own.
BLACKADDER: So what would you do if I gave you a million pounds?
BALDRICK: Oh, that's different. I'd get a great big turnip in the country.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:06 AM on July 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


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