“The Meadow” Farm House from “Secretariat” For Sale

by hookedonhouses on May 31, 2011

Sure, the horse in the Disney movie Secretariat was beautiful and everything, but what I really fell in love with was “The Meadow,” the Chenery family’s traditional white farmhouse in Virginia. I was excited to hear that the house they filmed in is for sale, so I thought it would be fun to compare how it looked then and now.

The movie is the inspiring true story of how Penny Chenery, played by Diane Lane, saves her ailing father’s Meadow Stables by raising a horse she calls Big Red. With help from trainer Lucien Lauren (John Malkovich, in some eye-popping outfits), Secretariat becomes the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and sets records that have still not been broken.

It’s the early ’70s when Penny’s mother dies, and when she goes back to the farm with her husband and four children, the sign outside of the long drive is the first thing we see:

They pass horses grazing and we can see the house in the distance:

This is about as close as the camera ever lets us get to the front of the house (darnit):

They actually used a different house and property for the exterior shots. The interiors were shot in a real house in Lafayette, Louisiana, which is on the market for $1.150 million. Here’s the exterior of that house:

When Penny and her family walk into the house, we get a glimpse of the entry hall and dining room:

Here’s the front door and entry hall in the listing:

Here’s a shot of the entry hall from the movie with Penny and her brother (Dylan Baker plays Hollis Chenery, but every time I see him in something now I think about the creepy killer he played on “The Good Wife”):

I love the staircase and the view down the hall to another door:

To the right of the entry hall is the dining room:

The living room in the listing:

We get a look inside the kitchen at the beginning of the movie, and I kept hoping we’d go back to it again…

Note how they covered the modern stainless-steel fridge with paneled doors for the film. Here’s how it looks today:

I love this kitchen. Gorgeous.

We only see one bedroom in the movie–her dad’s:

There are 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths. Here are some of them shown in the listing:

It’s interesting to see how filmmakers gave a retro look to the rooms in subtle ways. For example, check out this corner with the three windows in the movie:

And compare that to how it looks today, in the listing:

It was amazing to me how much older Diane Lane looked in that blond wig. She called it “Peaches” on set, and it was reportedly inspired by photos of Jackie Kennedy’s iconic hairstyle.

One of my favorite features in the house is this long screened porch. Here’s how it looks in the movie, leading off of the kitchen:

It looks so different in the listing without all of the furniture, framed photos, and shutters covering the screens that I wasn’t sure if it was the same porch or not at first. The ceiling fans are the same, though, as is that big black door that connects to the kitchen, and the screened panels match with the same arches at the top. It goes to show how much work can go into transforming a room for a movie!

The house sits on over an acre of land, but there are no stables or horses to be seen.

I would love to track down the house they used for the outdoor scenes, too, if anyone has any info to pass along about it!

For more photos and information, check the listing by Penny McGehee of Van Eaton & Romero Realtors. Thanks to Lynette for telling me about it!

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Jess May 31, 2011 at 7:12 am

This is crazy– I was just coming to your site today to ask if you had ever found anything on this house– I LOVE this house– just gorgeous! Thank you!!

Luciane at Homebunch.com May 31, 2011 at 7:14 am

Wow, such an inspiring, beautiful place!

Places like this makes me dream… don’t you?

Have a Beautiful Day!


Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Connie May 31, 2011 at 7:18 am

What a delight to find this post today. I live about an hour from the real Meadow farm where Secretariat was born. It was sold a few years ago, and the land is now the site of the Virginia State Fair. The developers did a pretty good job of preserving what they could of the horse farm feel of the place, but it’s still pretty depressing to see the wonderful green fields and white fencing replaced by parking lots and display buildings. Here’s a link to the site: http://www.meadoweventpark.com/

hookedonhouses May 31, 2011 at 7:23 am

Thanks for the link and information, Connie!

black eyed susans kitchen May 31, 2011 at 7:20 am

Beautiful property…is it wrong that I am in love with all of the molding in the house?

Jenny Allworthy May 31, 2011 at 8:13 am

I adored Secretariat as a young girl and I even have a scrapbook filled with articles about him. This wonderful film took me right back to that exciting time in my childhood. I loved the way they made this house look so 70’s. The Tweedy House (I always knew her as Penny Tweedy) was a pretty cool 70’s look too!

Thanks Julia for a trip down memory lane. Great film if others haven’t seen it!

MelMel May 31, 2011 at 8:23 am

Beautiful home! I’m embarrassed to admit but I haven’t seen Secretariat yet. Which is funny because I’m a real horse lover and remember when he won the Triple Crown. It is now on my Netflix list and I moved it up to the top! :-)

shelia May 31, 2011 at 8:28 am

Oh, the outside of this house looks like mine! Well, except the little wooden bumpouts on each side! You can see mine, if you want to, under my header under “My Home”. Now the inside is another issue! I would think I’d died and gone to heaven to have a gorgeous kitchen like this! I love it that you show us all these great houses.
Hope you had a nice Memorial Day.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia 😉

Don Corson May 31, 2011 at 8:39 am

Just saw this Friday night. I have come to the self-actualization that I am a total real estate GEEK! I can’t watch a movie without analyzing and critiquing the houses (I can usually spot where the exterior doesn’t match the interior.
This house is nice, but the Tweedy’s mid-century ranch really had me drooling. There are a few houses like that here in Columbus, OH, but sad to admit I haven’t seen the interior of any of them.

Heather May 31, 2011 at 8:49 am

Thanks Julia for all your research on this house!
Its really amazing!

florencia May 31, 2011 at 9:05 am

i love your blog, and i was trying to find images of a house i loved and i couldn’t find them anywhere, i love how jennifer aniston’s house in the switch was decorated, do you have any idea how i could find it? cause you are great at that!
thank you for an amazing blog!

Kelly @ JAX does design May 31, 2011 at 9:10 am

I loved the movie :-) Thanks for taking us on a tour of the house they used. I had no idea it’s in Louisiana! I love the long porch area in the movie, and how it just oozes with all things horsey :-)

Mary May 31, 2011 at 9:22 am

What a gorgeous house, I loved the movie and I love the house even more – I would move there today!! What a fabulous kitchen to cook in – YUM

Bre May 31, 2011 at 9:42 am

Great post Julia! I never got to see the movie, so I really enjoyed this. What a gorgeous home! The movie version and the real one for sale! That perfectly appointed kitchen is amazing, and that bathroom looks like a in-home spa. Love the windows and hard wood floors. Through your website I am definitely learning more about my taste and style, thank you so much for that! Hope you had an awesome holiday weekend!

Spring May 31, 2011 at 10:01 am

What a beautiful home. I love that kitchen.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints May 31, 2011 at 10:05 am

we just rewatched this movie this weekend. it’s so good. i really noticed the house and property because it was set in VA. we are moving to richmond later this summer. bummer it’s not the actual land with the horses from the movie. i hate how movies do that all the time. love the new kitchen.

etta May 31, 2011 at 11:07 am

I LOVE this home… traditional and very classy!

Stitchfork May 31, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Yes, another one I could move into right now!
xo Cathy

Miss Charming May 31, 2011 at 12:41 pm

LOVE this gorgeous home! (Too bad I don’t have an extra $1.150 million laying around…)

Kelly D May 31, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Love the exterior/other house better than the interior of this house/interior set..although I’m in love with the island in the kitchen. :)

Diane Lane is my favorite actress, I wish she was in more movies.

Kim May 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm

What a great house! I fell in love with it the moment I watched the movie. Too bad we can’t find the home used as the exterior. I’m sure it’s a beautiful home.

Tori May 31, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Are these interiors the same as the movie “Something to Talk About” with Julia Roberts?
They sure look familiar.

Prissy June 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Hi Tori!
It’s actually my home and no, this house has not been in any other movies!

Kattkin May 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Have any of you seen the movie “Cemetery Junction”? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1196204/

There was a lovely house in it–lots of stone and gothic arches!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy... May 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm

What lovely tasteful wallpaper!

Lynette May 31, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Love the movied, Love the House, Love your Post! The house they used for the exterior is local as well…I’ll try to find out more info for you!

Lynette May 31, 2011 at 5:31 pm

In addition to the exterior home, and the interior home, many other scenes were filmed here in Lafayette, La., including alot of the racing scenes, it was the really neat to watch and recognize alot of the local spots. I actually watched the movie 3 times, and each time recognized something new!

ALICE IN DESIGNLAND May 31, 2011 at 7:53 pm

This place looks so tranquil and relaxing

Jordan May 31, 2011 at 9:35 pm

We just watched this movie last Friday night!! My almost 8-year-old son was in charge of the movie choice and he loves all horse movies, so he chose Secretariat. As I was watching the movie, I was *loving* the house and thought of your website…which I have never done before! (I’m not one to notice movie houses so much.) And lo and behold, here you are posting all about that awesome house! Kinda cool, I think. :) Thanks for all your research.

E. George May 31, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Hi Julia is it ok to use the word perfection for this house? I have to admit I have never heard of this movie or story. I’m on a mission to find this movie. Thank you Julia this was a beautiful blog. Regards Esther from gloomy Sydney.

cherylk June 1, 2011 at 8:23 am

This is a great post. We just watched that movie, last week! Loved it. This is such a beautiful home. That kitchen is absolutely perfect. I love the way the whole house is decorated, today.

Rick June 1, 2011 at 11:07 am

Richmar Stables in Opelousas LA, were used for the exteriors of the Meadow farm.

The Porch photo you show off the kitchen has a double door with etched/frosted glass. they open into kitchen, you can see glass in one of the shots.
The black door(s) you see in the house listing is the one Diane is walking through.
They also used the shuttered windows and covered the white side with dark painted paneling and put a rug over tan floor. There most likely are matching ceiling fans at each end of the porch/hallway.
It is a great house and thanks for letting me use my 3d skills to figure out room placement.


hookedonhouses June 1, 2011 at 11:33 am

Thanks for the info, Rick! You’re always so helpful! :-)

Janette@The2Seasons June 2, 2011 at 6:47 am

Our daughter’s/blog partner’s wedding reception was held in the grand estate used in several scenes in the movie. It is called Spindletop Hall in Lexington, KY and has a great story and would be a good blog post for you. Its background story resembles the Beverly Hillbillies. Spindletop was used in two exterior scenes (golf and car show) and interior (after-Derby party and business meeting.) You can see some of it in this post from our blog: http://the2seasons.com/2011/04/05/our-wedding-photos-one-year-later/ Make sure your speakers are on.

kate delahanty June 2, 2011 at 6:58 am

thanks for the post, what a beautiful property some lucky person will buy…

debbie bailey June 2, 2011 at 7:40 am

My twelve-year-old daughter has seen the movie, Secretariat, seven times. Not surprising, since she owns the grandson of Secretariat, whose name is Big Red, too. When we first got him, a freebie, we didn’t know that until we began researching his bloodlines. I almost fainted when I read that he came from the original “Big Red”. My daughter loves telling THAT story!

Janice Mahon June 2, 2011 at 11:10 am

I was at the Preakness in Maryland in 1973 when Secretariat won the second round of the Triple Crown. I was in the infield with all of the other crazies, I remember how hot it was. We watched the other races before the main event. Then came the race, watching this magnificent “Big Red” bowl over the competition. I never watched the movie, now I have to get it.

Secretariat died at the age of 19, when they performed his autopsy, his heart was twice the size of any other race horse. Big hearted Big Red. How I love you so.!

Crystal June 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Please could you show the farmhouse from the movie Nanny McPhee returns ~ it is So sweet :)
haPPy day , crystal

Jessica June 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Such a beautiful and stately home. I love the kitchen too and the screened in porch, though not the movie version…I prefer it au naturel.
xo J~

Maaike Quinn @ Life with FlyLady June 4, 2011 at 3:06 am

Hmm, the house is too old fashioned for me but I do like the kitchen a lot!

Sarah (Freestyle Home & Life) June 4, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Excellent post — I’ve seen the movie Secretariat a few times, but never really thought too much about the place(s) where it was filmed. Great job on all the research that went into this.

Lisa July 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I was so happy when I learned that the real Meadow farm was in Doswell as I lived about 30 minutes from there. Apparently back in 2009 the farm was sold and now it is an equestrian park called Meadow Event. They do Secretariat tours where you can see where he was born. With the housing market so bad, many horse farms can sit for years for sale, or worse, become a foreclosure. I was really pleased to read that at least in this case, the horse farm became an equestrian center for horse lovers to enjoy and be able to see the former home of Secretariat.

cisrae1 July 26, 2011 at 8:36 pm

The house used for the exterior scenes (white house) is actually my cousins home, located around Carencro, Louisiana. Beautiful home, inside and out.

hookedonhouses July 26, 2011 at 9:23 pm

No kidding? It’s beautiful. If your cousin ever wants to share some photos of the house with us, let me know! :)

Stephanie July 19, 2012 at 11:51 am

Not sure if you are still looking for the real house or not, but the real Meadow is for sale again. Hopefully, the new owners will preserve what is left of the iconic stables.

diane August 3, 2012 at 7:41 am

If The Medow is really up for sale again, I would like some pricing info please….

MES July 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm

The front foyer and staircase from “Secretariat” look like the house in “Fried Green Tomatoes.”

Eddie March 10, 2013 at 11:46 am

Wow, in my opinion many people in the US better take note of this listing, finally a PROPERLY priced house! Take note this is what a million dollar house should be and this is a value. Worth every dime.

Baker April 3, 2013 at 10:48 am

Love this house … BUT I also love her home in Denver (I think), in this movie. Do you have any photos of that home to share, too ?

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