A single acre of undeveloped land in the Hamptons that is not close to the beach will run you roughly a million dollars. Since it was the largest estate on Long Island, the 42 immaculately maintained oceanfront acres with a quarter mile of beach weren’t going to be cheap. The estate we’re talking about, which Henry Ford II once called home, just sold for $145 million.
When it was originally listed in 2017 the $175 million asking price was around $30 million more than any home the Hamptons had ever fetched. According to our tracking, the $145 million sale was the second most expensive in Hamptons history and the sixth most expensive in US history.
On Long Island, the 42.13-acre property offers the longest privately owned stretch of uninterrupted oceanfront. It features basketball courts, tennis courts, a greenhouse, a pool, a hot tub and a 20,000 square-foot main house.
Here’s a video tour of the genuinely magnificent home:
A significant portion of the property’s history is tied to one of the biggest fortunes in American history. Contrary to what you might assume, Henry Ford II, AKA “Hank the deuce” (not to his face), was Henry Ford I’s grandson. Son not. Hank the deuce was born in 1917 to Eleanor and Edsel Ford. Henry Ford had only one child, Edsel.
By 1960 they finally completed what was a 16,000 square-foot mansion. Their new estate was given the name Fordune.
When building Fordune, Henry and Anne didn’t cut any corners. They used the most-expensive building materials, importing fine Italian marble for the fireplaces, antique hardware from a European chateau and even commissioned intricate ceiling decoration – all of which are still on display at the home.
Hank the deuce was unfortunate because Anne requested a divorce in 1964.
Anne sold Fordune in 1978 to Carlo Traglio, an Italian businessman.
That comes to “just” $7 million even after accounting for inflation. Today $7 million MIGHT get you a mansion on one acre with binocular views of the ocean.
Traglio sold the home in 2002 to a financier named Brenda Earl. The cost in 2002?
As a partner at Zweig-DiMenna, a private equity firm, Brenda Earl made her wealth. Brenda’s 2004 biography states that Zweig-DiMienna had only $15 million in assets under management when she joined the company in 1987, when she was recognized one of the top 100 women in hedge funds (AUM). She contributed to the firm’s AUM reaching a high of $8 billion.
In 2008, Earl carried out a significant makeover that increased the square footage from 16,000 to 20,000.
As we previously noted, Brenda first put the house up for sale in 2017 for $175 million. That alone would have broken the Hamptons record by around $30 million. By our tracking, at today’s sale price of $145 million, this is the SECOND most-expensive home sale in Hamptons history. Brenda only $2 million short of the record.