Hirshhorn estate back up for sale

30 John Street

This is a gorgeous old (1930?) house with spectacular views from  its 23 acres on the highest point in Greenwich but I was taken aback at its list price of $38 million  in 2008 because the place was pretty much a wreck,and how much is a view worth? Especially when the entire Hirshhorn sculpture collection had been removed to its new gallery in D.C.

But as usual, I was wrong, and someone paid $30 million for the place 0n an assessed value of $8 million. They’ve done some renovations and have relisted it for $33 million. Will lightning strike again? Stay tuned. Assessment today is $9 million.


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19 responses to “Hirshhorn estate back up for sale

  1. Resident

    Can you explain the $9mm assessment on $30mm purchase price? Thanks.

  2. Andrew

    This reminds me of the sale of 51 Mooreland (10 acres) at a higher than expected price. It seems consistent with the fact that good over-sized lots sell at a premium because they are rare in Greenwich.

    • christopherfountain

      Higher than expected ($5+?) but just about half its original asking price. But yes, large acreage is rare, and getting rarer.

  3. Anthony Fountain

    Joe Hirshorn himself gave fifty-or-so GHS classmates and me a tour of his sculpture collection. I will never forget driving up to the house and seeing Rodin’s Burghers of Calais in the center of the turnaround driveway; nor of his insisting (he was an affable fellow!) we troop into his wife Olga’s bathroom so we could admire the numerous Picasso miniatures serving as bath toys.

  4. Gideon Fountain

    Dear “Resident”:
    Since Chris won’t do it, I will provide you with an explanation of the Town of Greenwich’s assessment of $8,921,220 and a selling price of $30,000,000.
    First of all, that assessment is supposed to reflect “70% of market value” so the Town assumed a market value of $12,744,600, still way too low, as we learned.
    But the most important thing to remember is this: THE TOWN HAS NO IDEA WHAT PROPERTIES ARE WORTH SO DON’T USE THEIR NUMBERS.

    • christopherfountain

      Dear Resident – Gideon is entirely wrong, of course, but that’s his right as a younger brother (too bad he outsells me by factor of 3, but who said we live in a just world?)

  5. Resident

    GF- Thanks. It also appears that with a little bit of work, there would be no reason for any increase in the mil rate. Elected officials take note.

  6. Anthony Fountain

    Ear shattering, isn’t it?

  7. pulled up in OG

    So, $8M to $9M = improvements (based on ’05 assessment), no?

    And 2010 revaluation SHOULD reflect recent sale ~$30M/$21M. Can’t get a better comp than your own house.

  8. Dan

    I agree that large parcels should command a premium, but then what’s the deal with no sales action on that 14 acres on North Street right near Saint Mikes?? Shouldn’t that fly off the shelf at $12M?

    • christopherfountain

      No builders with credit. I had a great almost- deal (for buyers) on that parcel, but one of the heirs is more positive about real estate prospects than others. And he may be be proved right, but for now, its sits.

  9. A.O.

    Hate to be so inquisitive but…

    (1) Wiki says Hirshhorn lived in this house from 1961 on. His heirs had the 2008 listing that sold for $30mm?
    (2) Does anyone know who built the house in the 1930s?
    (3) Do we know what Hirshhorn paid in 1961?
    (4) What are the “some renovations” the current seller did?

    I bet it’ll sell in quick order – as others have said, who can have 22 acres with a view anymore? That in itself makes it worth $33mm. Talk about being King of the Hill.

  10. Dan

    What a shame. Is the house a throw away or save-able? I noticed in the most recent listing they’ve removed any interior pictures.

    • christopherfountain

      Oh it’s a wonderful house but it needed a ton ($millions) of renovation when I saw it in 2007 -2008. I don’t know how much has been done by the current owners.

  11. Andrew

    You would think sellers of lots like 62 Mooreland would have a clue from 51 Mooreland. Especially when you find out that 62 Mooreland is half wetlands and half rocks with an old house that is nothing but a teardown.

    It is really his fault that he overpaid in 2006.

  12. Heard it through the grapevine

    North St should fly off the shelf Dan but rumor has it a neighbor has a threatended a law suit if you try to sub divide.

  13. Oh my gosh – What a beauty! I sure hope they kept the period style mixed in with the updates. I’ve seen lovely old homes like this Hirshhorn Esate for sale and the old charm had been completely removed on the inside.