June 6, 2017


So I walked in and I said, “This is the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen.” And she said, “It’s yours.” Up to then, she’d refused to sell it to anybody else. But she said, “I know that this house belongs to you. You’re the person who should have this house.” And then she did this little pirouette in the hall and said, “You see? All it needs is a coat of paint!” So I bought it on the spot.

The location is South Hampton, situated near
Georgia Beach and Lily Pond Lane. 
She was constructed in 1897.
This is a unique compound which sits on two acres.

The main house features 9 bedrooms
6 1/2 bathrooms.

The couple purchased this home is 1979 
for $220,000.00
and loving restored her to the beauty you see in these photos.

This home is known as Grey Gardens,
the former home of  Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie.
Edith Bouvier Beale was the eccentric aunt
of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. 
Ben Bradlee, former Washington Post executive editor
and his wife Sally Quinn purchased the home from little Edie. 
The smell of cat urine permeated the floors and walls and
had to be removed and replaced. 
Ben Bradlee passed away in 2014. 
Sally Quinn listed Grey Gardens for sale this year
for $17,995,000.00.
Sally stated, "the house just isn't the same without him."
She also ended with, "Grey Gardens is a magical place
and we enjoyed a magical life there,
but that part of my life is over now.
I want to move on."

A SOCIALITE is a person, usually from a privileged,
wealthy or aristocratic backgound,
who has a largely known reputation and
a high social position in upper class society.

The decay of Grey Gardens

Little Edie Beale.

It seems as if these two were left floundering....
ignored by family and by society.
Could you have looked beyond the decay
and seen the beautiful bones of this estate?

We must applaud Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn,
who rather than destroy the home and gardens,
brought it back to all of it's loveliness.

photo credits
Town and Country Magazine


  1. Betsy, I did not know that the Gardens had been restored...unbelievable. I have seen the documentary of Edith and Edie...I was mesmerized. I know there's a movie of this with Drew Barrymore as Edie...I have been looking for it on dvd. The whole story of this fascinates me. I think because of the total decay and in the Hamptons of all places. There surely was no home owners association back then. There were many cats and raccoons even in this house. Both Edith and Edie seemed to have slipped into another world of their own minds. Wow, what a price...it would make a lovely B&B. Thanks for posting this today. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

    1. Hi Susie...so happy you enjoyed this today. I have followed Ben Bradlee since the Kennedy days.....and you can catch the Grey Gardens with Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore on Netflix. They both did a marvelous acting job on these two women. It certainly is fascinating. Beautiful home isn't it...enjoy your day.

  2. your post today leaves me without words. I've always followed the "when you don't know what to say,say nothing" example! Now as to your question, yes, I would have seen past the decay and seen beauty. How is Ms Mae- give her a hug and kiss from me,please.

    1. Sweet Blanche...thank you. I have a post on Mae coming soon. She is our love and continues to do well. The history of Grey Gardens is so very interesting. Love and enjoy your visits always.

  3. What an amazing home! I love that they restored that house, and didn't just knock it down and build something else!

  4. I saiw both movies and read Sally Quinn's book. It wasn't about the house though. All I can say is "if those walls could talk..." Have a good one, Betsy!

  5. OMG. I think I remember seeing the movie and was so surprised that it would come to that - what hoarders. Guess the family was ashamed of them and didn't want any thing to do with them. What a shame.

    They restored the home so beautifully - WOW all I can say is that it is amazing.

    Thank you for this very interesting post. I love to read about things like this. I also loved the article that Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) posted about the Paris apartment that sat empty for over 40 years.

    Have a wonderful week.


  6. i've never seen the movie but i watched again the documentary that was filmed on little edie and big edie and grey gardens just the other night.
    it was eery looking into two women's minds who had gone past the line of living normal lives to total eccentricity. after big edie died i'm glad little edie got to move to florida and sing on a stage. she at least got to live a little bit of her dream before she died.
    darling bean... this was a beautiful post about a grand old lady of a house that couldn't be killed. and was instead rescued and made beautiful! brava! and thank you! XO♥

  7. No, I could not have. So glad that the Bradlees could. Course I doubt they had much sweat equity in the transformation...lots of someone else's.

  8. Wow, you really got me on this one! I am very familiar with Grey Gardens as I've watched the documentary more times then I care to admit. It totally fascinates me! But as I was looking at all the beautiful rooms and grounds in this post, I had absolutely no idea it was Grey Gardens. I was aware that it had been bought an restored by these two, but I sure didn't recognize it. Who would? Ha! Let's just say the contrast between the before and after is beyond astounding. And kudos to Bradlee and Quinn for their love and devotion to this endeavor. And thanks to you, Estelle, for this interesting post.

  9. Wow! If I only had a spare $20m, I'd buy this in a heartbeat...I could use a little magic!


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