As the listing on the Corcoran Group’s Real Estate website points out: you might not be able to own history but you can rent a little piece of it. And indeed, a peculiar slice of history is available this June to anyone willing to shell out $125,000 for it.
Though it isn't likely that any raccoons will fall through the roof, and there will be no discarded turbans to come by, you can still have your five o'clock martini in the same house where "Big" and "Little" Edie Beales - first cousin and aunt to Jackie Kennedy, respectively - were filmed for the cult documentary Grey Gardens. The documentary, directed by Albert and David Maysles, first screened in 1976 at the Cannes Film Festival, five years after it was reported that the patrician mother and daughter duo were living in abject and harmful conditions. Facing eviction by the health department, the women were persuaded to document their story, and Grey Gardens was made.
In the mid-2000s Little Edie became something of a revelation for contemporary designers. Her influence was said to be seen from Marc Jacobs through to the Olsen twins and Isaac Mizrahi. “Little” Edie was fabulously eccentric, changing clothes sometimes up to 12 times a day, fashioning turbans out of cashmere sweaters, keeping her skirts together with safety pins. And even if her unorthodox approach to style came more as a creative solution to financial straights, they were still her creative solutions, her point of view.
In an article on CNBC’s website, the current owners, Sally Quin and Benjamin C. Bradlee, stress that Grey Gardens is not your average Hampton residence. While the residence has been completely renovated since the Beale’s left it, it still has no elevator, no tennis courts, and few of the trappings of the typical Hampton home. Nevertheless, it’s got 28 rooms. More than enough if you’re keen on communing with the spirit of the Beales.