Grey Gardens Circa 1979
Grey Gardens today
I am always dreaming about fixing up a historic and neglected gem around the corner from my house so June's issue of Hamptons Cottages & Gardens (HC & C) really appealed to me because the cover story is about Grey Gardens. The Grey Gardens Home is known for its neglect by reclusive bohemian socialites Big Edie and Little Edie Beale (aunt and cousin to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill) as documented in the famous documentary Grey Gardens (1975) by Albert and David Mayles and the recent movie of the same name. The House got its name from the soft grey of the dunes that surround the - 14 room Arts and Craftsman ocean front cottage. Grey Gardens was sold to Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee in 1979 with the caveat that it could not be raized -- and they have since painstakingly restored not just the house, but the furniture they found in the attic and the gorgeous gardens as well. I have included a few "before" photos I found on Decorology and Cote de Texas, so that you can fully appreciate the work that went into restoring this home. Cote de Texas also has some great photos from before the Beales and when Architecural Digest came to photograph the restored home in 1985. Pretty cool stuff.
Here are some before pics (I tried to match them up with photos from the restored room where I could):
|I could cry looking at that piano|
|The rooms were filled with piles of books and sea shells|
|The Beale ladies had an affinity for cats and scores of cat and raccoon bones were found all around the house during the restoration.|
The house today: