Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens Can Be Yours for Only $20 Million

Have an extra $20 million laying around? If so, Grey Gardens can be yours!

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the house that belonged to Big Edie and Little Edie that inspired a documentary, an HBO movie and a Broadway musical is on the market for sale. The seller is journalist Sally Quinn, who said she purchased the roughly 6,000-square-foot shingle-style home for $220,000 in 1979.

Grey Gardens rose to infamy as the home of Edith “Big Edie” Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale. They were the aunt and the first cousin, respectively, of former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The two women lived together at the estate for decades with limited funds in increasing squalor and isolation.

 

Built in 1897 by Joseph Greenleaf Thorpe and purchased in 1923 by Big Edie and her husband Phelan Beale. After Phelan left her, Big Edie and Little Edie lived there for more than 50 years. Albert and David Maysles became interested in their story and received permission to film a documentary about the women, which was released in 1976 to wide critical acclaim.

The documentary became a gay cult classic, and inspired a musical that opened on Broadway in 2006 starring Christine Ebersole. In 2009,  the story was adapted into an HBO film starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore as the Edies.

The three-story house sits on roughly 1.7 acres a short walk from East Hampton’s Georgica Beach, and some rooms have ocean views, said Michael Schultz of the Corcoran Group. Quinn and her late husband Ben Bradlee, the longtime executive editor of the Washington Post, added a tennis court and a swimming pool. A cabinet full of Little Edie’s collection of glass animals sits in the study.

Quinn said many of her happy memories at the East Hampton estate will be included in her upcoming memoir Finding Magic. She said she hopes the purchaser will keep the house the same, but won’t make that a condition of the sale. “Whatever happens happens,” she said. “Whoever buys it, it’s their house.”