Vanderbilt mansion spanning two towns sells for $8 million

Vanderbilt Berkshires Estate, one of the most iconic homes in the famous Berkshires in Massachusetts has been sold to a real estate developer for US$8 million and is slated to be turned into a luxury resort.

The famous property, formerly known as Elm Court, was built in 1886 for Emily Vanderbilt, granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, according to toptenrealestatedeals.com.

The Berkshires were famous in the 1800s as a summer hotspot for the wealthy, who liked to build lavish summer cottages to spend their holidays and display their wealth for all to see.

The home is set to be restored and may be transformed into a luxury resort with room for 112 guests and a 60-seat restaurant.

Designed by the architectural firm Peabody & Stearns, the mansion is the same size as the White House and includes over 5000sq m of living space, 106 rooms and boasts 40 acres of gardens.

While the 89-acre estate is so expansive that it spans both Stockbridge and Lenox in Massachusetts.

Due to the high cost of maintaining the property, the children of the original owners converted the estate into an inn in the 1940s where it was used to host events and dinners.

Eventually, Elm Court finally closed its doors and was boarded up until 1999 when descendants of Emily Vanderbilt decided to renovate the property and return it to its former glory.

The property operated as a wedding venue for a number of years before it closed down in the early 2000s.

Most of the renovations have been completed including the main living areas and 13 bedrooms.

While the original details such as the intricately carved-plaster ceiling in the dining room, the herringbone-wood floors and the fireplaces have been preserved and a new chef’s-island kitchen installed.

The mansion also boasts a large mahogany butler’s pantry with a window seat and room for casual dining, while the grounds incorporate the larger butler’s house, gardener’s cottage, and multiple greenhouses as well as a caretaker’s house, carriage house and stable and two barns.

The new owner, real estate investor and developer Linda Law, said she hopes to return the estate to its former status.

“Collectively, we have done a tremendous amount of research on the architecture and design of the Gilded Age and the history of the Vanderbilt family, and we feel a tremendous responsibility to pay homage to its legendary past,” Ms Law said. 

“Equally as important, we will pay the utmost attention to the historical importance of Elm Court as its own entity, as well as its position and prominence in the Lenox and Stockbridge communities.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.