Before Restoration Grey Gardens in East Hampton, NY (Taber Andrew Bain/Wikimedia Commons)
The Hamptons mansion that gave its name to the landmark 1970s documentary Grey Gardens is up for sale. When the film was made, the house was the home to the aging debutante Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale, and her eccentric mother "Big Edie". They were heiresses and relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who had withdrawn from society to live in exquisite squalor.
Sally Quinn and her late husband former Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee bought Grey Gardens in 1979 for $220,000. At the time it was in such bad shape that most of the prospective buyers saw it as a tear-down, but they were determined to restore it instead.
Grey Gardens today!
In a 2003 article for Town and Country, Sally Quinn said that when they bought the house, “The attic was filled, literally, to the rafters with broken furniture, old wicker chaises, antique tables, boxes of china and silver, trunks full of letters, baby pillows of handmade lace, figurines, crates of books — it was like finding a shipwreck and discovering unimaginable treasure buried among the detritus.”