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Philanthropist Bunny Mellon sells historic Cape Cod estate

25 Jan 2013 10:49 AM
Philanthropist Bunny Mellon sells historic Cape Cod estate

Rachel 'Bunny' Mellon is perhaps best known for having helped her friend Jacqueline Kennedy design the White House Rose Garden, but it is the work Mellon did on a one-of-a-kind Cape Cod property that might be her most enduring legacy. Over many years, Mellon transformed the beachfront residence into a stunning testament to expert landscaping and refined style. While it was likely hard to leave behind, the 102-year old philanthropist recently sold the stunning property for $19.5 million. Although the home now has a new owner, Mellon's fingerprints are still all over this remarkable Cape Cod estate.

"Nature was nurtured and respected," Jack Cotton, who represented Mellon on behalf of Sotheby's International Realty, told The Wall Street Journal.

Although many Cape Cod homes have noteworthy - and sometimes breathtaking - views, the Mellon estate is truly in a league of its own. Situated peacefully on the private island called Oyster Harbors, the property exudes a sense of tranquility, grace and natural beauty. With nearly 1,000 feet of private shoreline and 26 acres of expertly manicured grounds, the Mellons - Bunny's husband, the banking heir Paul Mellon, died in 1999 - used the estate as a place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and entertain select company.

The Mellons bought the property in the 1940s and spent decades transforming it into one of the region's most admired and cherished properties. In addition to the 7,000-square-foot main house, the estate featured a comfortable beach house, detached studio, a tennis court and, in light of Bunny Mellon's horticultural leanings, several well-equipped greenhouses.

Bunny Mellon ultimately decided to sell the property because she wasn't able to use it as much as she once did. William Koch is likely glad she did. The successful businessman decided to buy the estate in hopes of using it as a place where he and his relatives can gather for years to come.  

"I want to make it a family compound," he told the source, calling the chance to secure the revered estate a "once in a lifetime" opportunity.