After more than eight months on the market, Grey Gardens — the Hamptons estate made famous in a 1975 documentary about its eccentric inhabitants, known as Big Edie and Little Edie — has a buyer.
Author and noted Washington hostess Sally Quinn, the widow of legendary Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee and the owner of the historic home, said the deal will close in the next few weeks. Quinn wouldn’t disclose the buyer or the price (the listing price was a smidgen under $20 million, and it was reduced by $2 million in April), telling us only she’s “happy” with the contract and the new owner “really understands the house” and plans to preserve it.
People still have a chance to snap up some of the home’s history: Quinn will be holding an estate sale to clear the home of its furnishings, including the pieces she discovered in the attic when she bought the place that had belonged to the Edies, who were the aunt and cousin of Jackie Bouvier Kennedy, in 1979.
Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith Beale have become cult figures since the documentary “Grey Gardens” captured their reclusive lives at the then-decrepit mansion, where they lived, kookily sporting fur coats and headscarves, among feral cats and raccoons. The documentary was turned into a feature film starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore and eventually adapted into a musical.
Quinn hasn’t set a date for the estate sale, but it is sure to attract shoppers looking not just to snap up wicker armchairs and settees, but also a memento of the Edies’ particular brand of faded glamour.
Quinn, who lives in Georgetown and said she spent one miserable month at Grey Gardens since Bradlee died in 2014, said she’s at peace with giving all of it up. “I’m happy now, but when I first got the offer, I just burst into tears,” she said. “Because it means letting go of Ben and all the magical times we spent there.”