Sold: Most Expensive New England Estate at $100 Million With Prohibition-Era Whiskey in the Cellar
Wow! This estate is the largest private island on the East Coast, and has been in the William Ziegler family since 1905. Ziegler was a baking soda magnate who originally built this estate as a summer getaway to the country, and now 118 years later, it has a new owner after going on and off the market for seven years.
The new owners? Well, it's the Fairfield County town of Darien, Connecticut, where this estate sits on The Great Island. I was rooting for the town when I first saw this listing from Jennifer Leahy of Douglas Elliman, because it plans to turn this largest private island on the eastern seaboard into a public-park; basically a green space for the residents of Darien.
According to the New York Post, this 60-acre private island is one of the largest remaining undeveloped parcels of land in the area, and that's why the town is grabbing it. According to Boston Magazine, it sold for $85 million after being listed for $100 million in 2022, and the Town of Darien is thrilled.
There will never be another opportunity for the town to control this property’s destiny, or to add an asset to benefit all of us like this. I believe 200 years from now, when people look at this property, they will look favorably on this transaction.
According to The Real Deal, prohibition-era whiskey still graces its cellar. I mean, how incredible is that?
In case you're not familiar with this little hamlet, Darien is an hour-and-a-half from New York City and two-and-a-half hours from Boston, right on the Connecticut Gold Coast.
Boston Magazine says this residents-only 60-acre park on The Great Island will be easily accessible over a narrow bridge that crosses the Long Island Sound onto this pristine green space, with unfettered access to the Connecticut shoreline.
This 13,170 square foot mansion has 10 bedrooms and bathrooms. Boston Magazine says it will all become public space for education, arts, and cultural uses, while prioritizing the conservation of this magnificent property, saving it forever from development.
It was first listed for sale in 2016, when the Ziegler family listed this Italian villa-style manor with a guest house, seaside cottage, and caretaker's cottage for $175 million.
Other conveniences within this estate include a deep-water dock that can accommodate a yacht, as well as polo grounds.
And get this: the 18-stall granite stable with indoor and outdoor riding rings was designed by architect Rafael Guastavino, whose work you can see in New York’s Grand Central Station and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, also in New York City.
I wonder what the Town of Darien will do with the whiskey?