Grey Gardens | Big Edie's Palace

As many know the story of Grey Gardens, from the famous Documentary Film by the Maysles Brothers, and the Broadway Musical that has travelled the world, plus the HBO film in 2009  -  it is easy to gather that Big Edie ( Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale) loved Grey Gardens and had no intention of moving EVER.  Her bohemian spirit thrived in that environment and she was willing to sacrifice luxuries in order to stay there.

Wondering what she would say today, knowing that her property is now for sale for $20Million Dollars.  Is it the home itself, or the famous story that gives Grey Gardens and the property it's current value?  The property itself is not impressive in acreage nor is it ocean front.  But the history is astonishing and the value of Grey Gardens will climb further without a doubt.

I recall finding a letter from Big Edie's youngest child, Buddy Beale who also happens to be my late father in law.  Buddy was very loving and cared very much for his family.  In the mid 1960's he wrote a letter to his mother, insisting to sell Grey Gardens for $65,000 and move to Palm Beach.  The potential buyer was poised to sign the purchase offer, but Edie insisted she was never leaving her palace.  Both Phelan and Buddy tried to help their mother survive the situation at the time.

I came across some photos of Big Edie at Grey Gardens.  You can imagine that financial difficulties were already setting in after the stock market crash, and by the expressions on Big Edie's face she that she has no intention of giving up.   You will see photos of her eldest son Phelan in the photos in the gardens along with Buddy.   Another photo includes Molly, the family nanny and care giver.  Edie must have been away at MPS (Miss Porter's School) at the time.  Included in the photos is an interior shot of Grey Gardens - and as you can see the table is set.  

 

Photo: Grey Gardens Interior - Dining Room View.

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Photo: Big Edie with Molly.  Copyright photos - www.greygardensofficial.com

The Beales had a different experience living at Grey Gardens.  It was their summer retreat where they could relax and enjoy the sea.  They did not rent out their place, nor host celebrities.  They simply enjoyed each other, and the surroundings ( The Maidstone and Devon Country Clubs) for swimming, dining, and socializing.  Will the new buyer of Grey Gardens tear it down or preserve the home as Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee did in 1979?  We are preserving our legacy just in case- which is why we have established Grey Gardens®, The Official Brand for Grey Gardens & Little Edie's Legacy.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr for future posts! 

 

Big Edie enjoying the beautiful Grey Gardens.  She looks more like Little Edie in this photo.

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