The home itself was created by Joseph Greenleaf Thorpe in 1897. Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn, who resided in the property from 1979 until 2014 and considerably improved its condition after moving there, are two more famous owners. Liz Lange, a fashion designer and businesswoman, presently owns it. She purchased the property for $400,000 in 2015.
Grey Gardens is one of the most famous houses in America. It gained notoriety because of its notorious former residents, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Victoria Leigh Smith. The sisters were known as the "dyers to the rich and famous" because they dyed clothes and painted furniture at their home near New York City's Upper East Side. They also had a radio show on which they discussed the topics of the day with callers.
Both women were considered insane by many doctors due to their obsessive behavior and delusions that people wanted to harm them. They both died in 1999 at the age of 94 and 95, respectively. Their nephew, Peter Paul Bouvier Jr., now owns the house and has not changed any of the items inside it.
Grey Gardens can be seen in several documentaries and other TV shows including Oprah Winfrey's documentary series, "American Dreamer", which aired in 2013 and 2014. The home became internationally famous after being featured in the 2005 film version of Stephen King's novel, "Dawn of the Dead".
Grey Gardens (estate) The home itself was created by Joseph Greenleaf Thorpe in 1897. They sold it in 2015 for $1.5 million to an investment group led by Jeffery Miller.
Ben Bradlee was a Washington journalist who served as editor of the Washington Post from 1962 to 2002. He is also known for his role as one of the main reporters on the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. Bradlee was awarded the National Medal of Journalism in 2000.
Sally Quinn is a former senior writer at Newsweek magazine and daughter of Ethel Waters' husband James Quinn. She has written several books about her family's history including A Colored Family in White America: The Autobiography of a Black Family (1968).
Joseph Greenleaf Thorpe was a wealthy American industrialist who made his money through stock trading. He built his first home in 1894 and his second one three years later. These homes are considered landmarks in the development of suburban Philadelphia. In 1900, he bought a third house on Ivy Road in Greenwich Township for his son Alexander Greenleaf Thorpe and his wife Alice. This property became known as "Grey Gardens" because of its dark gray painted walls.
The Grey Gardens main home was most recently owned by novelist Sally Quinn and her late husband, former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, and was in ruin while the Beales resided there. They purchased it from the Beales in 1979 for $220,000 and performed extensive renovations. The property was listed for sale in August 2016 for $1.5 million.
The Grey Gardens museum is located on the premises of this property. It is a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Preservation Society with support from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Grey Gardens has been featured on many lists of best houses and museums. In 1999, it was ranked #9 on A&E's list of "10 Best Haunted Homes". In 2001, it was named one of the 10 most beautiful homes in America by House & Garden. That same year, it was also listed as one of the 11 Most Mysterious Houses in America.
In 2004, the New York Times listed Grey Gardens as one of the 10 most photographed buildings in New York City.
In 2007, the New York Times listed it as one of the 10 most photographed houses in America.
In 2008, Travel + Leisure magazine included the Grey Gardens property in its list of the world's best hotels.