In the early ’70s, a now-classic documentary was made about Jackie Kennedy’s aunt, Edith Bouvier Beale, and her daughter, known as “Little Edie,” who were living together in a broken-down family mansion in East Hampton. In 2009 the HBO movie Grey Gardens introduced a new generation to the story–and the beautiful old estate they lived in.
There’s a new house on the market in Massachusetts that was inspired by the HBO version of Grey Gardens in its heyday (shown above). But first, let’s take a look at how it looked in the movie:
Production designer Kalina Ivanov did an amazing job recreating the rooms and bringing them to life.
Hard to believe the women were still living there amid the filth and rotted floorboards–not to mention raccoons and other critters. Albert Maysles, one of the directors of the documentary, said the most difficult thing about filming it was the condition of the home: “The first thing you noticed was the smell from all the animals,” he said.
Here’s a screenshot of it from the original film, when it looked abandoned:
In 1984, Architectural Digest featured the iconic house, which had been bought in 1979 by Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and his wife, writer Sally Quinn. Here’s how it looked then, after its restoration:
The homeowner, Michael E. Jaye, saw photos of the house from the HBO movie and told his architect, Leonard J. Baum, that he wanted the exterior to look like it (shown at the top of the post, with the shutters). Here’s the result:
It sits on nearly 2 acres overlooking Oyster Pond in Upper Cape Cod. The listing says:
“Enjoy swimming from your private dock, exploring the Salt Pond Bird Sanctuary Conservation area across the street, walking to the sandy beach on Vineyard Sound or biking the Shining Sea Bikeway.”
If you could build a house inspired by one you’ve seen on TV or in the movies, which one would it be? It’s hard for me to choose–I love so many!–but today I’m thinking I wouldn’t mind living in a version of Kate Winslet’s English cottage from The Holiday. I could also go for the beach house from Something’s Gotta Give. Or this one from Grey Gardens!
For more photos and information:
- The listing with Robert Paul Properties
- An article on Cape News about the house
- The 1984 article in Architectural Digest