Andy Warhol was a strange, shy fellow of few words who invented an image for himself so whacky that he couldn’t be ignored. His timing for his white fright wig and pop art paintings of soup cans was well timed as post-Eisenhower era society was looking for something fresh with a little more wild and kinky edge to stay entertained.
In addition to his painting, Warhol branched out into music, film and journalism. He met Paul Morrissey, the director of some of Warhol’s early films, and the two decided that buying real estate in the Hamptons would be a good investment. Their decision to buy the Church Estate in Montauk for $225,000, the cost of which would be shared between them, would turn out to be the best investment Warhol ever made. It was built by the Church family of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda as a fishing camp. By the time they took ownership in 1972 until Warhol’s death in 1987, the stream of celebrity guests and renters put Montauk on the international map. Frequent guests included Jerry Hall, Cheryl Tiegs, Halston, Liza Minnelli, Liz Taylor, John Lennon, John Phillips, Mick Jagger, Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill. The parties were legendary and stories of happy days idled away on the beach abound in many celebrity biographies.
The Montauk compound is now for sale by current owner, CEO of J. Crew Mickey Drexler, who bought it in 2007 for $27 million. The estate is sited on 30 acres with an historic equestrian center, beachside main house and six cottages totaling approximately 14,968 square feet with nine bedrooms and 12 baths—all meticulously restored by architect Thierry Despont. The equine center has two restored barns built by Indianapolis 500 and Miami Beach developer Carl Fisher in the late 1920s.
Listed for: $85 million