Friday, March 30, 2012


Columbia University will be the happy beneficiary from the sale of one of Palm Beach’s highest priced estates.  In 2007, philanthropist Kluge donated the ultra-private 4.3-acre compound, a magnificent trophy estate made up of five contingent parcels, to Columbia as part of a $400-MM pledge exclusively for student scholarships.   

His vision was to create a verdant park-like retreat with 150’ of oceanfront and a private beach parcel.  Ocean views are exceptional.  Gardens and outdoor art collections are extensive. 

Kluge came to the US as an immigrant from Germany in 1922, worked for his stepfather in Detroit when he was 10 and by age 37 he made his first million dollars.  In 1987 Forbes named him as the world’s richest man.  This pledge is the largest ever gift devoted exclusively to student aid at a single institution of higher education in the United States.  By the time of his death, Kluge had accumulated $6.5BB.

At the entrance to the house, a domed ceiling appears with artwork within.  To the right is the casino room with pool table and seats for socializing. There is a lush and beautiful arcade with rotunda on the grounds.

The piano sits on a tiger skin carpet in the piano room.  The second floor has bedrooms with French windows and doors overlooking the gardens.

Once ranked by Forbes as the world’s richest man, John Kluge, the late billionaire who died at age 95 in 2010, purchased the five residences in the heart of Palm Beach’s estate section over a 30-year period before gifting the estate to his alma mater.  Kluge was CEO of Metromedia.

Casa Sin Nombre has exotically landscaped grounds and 21,000 living sq ft of housing.   

The 12,000 sq ft Garden House, his main residence, was built in 1935 and designed by society architect Marion Sims Wyeth.  Addison MIzner designed the now-renovated  6000-sq ft Mediterranean-Revival style oceanfront house in 1921.  Three separate buildings are for staff and/or guests.  The property has frequently been used for charity events.  It is located near the world-famous Worth Avenue and between Ocean Boulevard and South County Road.  Kluge acquired the properties in 1995.  

Listed price tag is $59MM.  The property has been on the market advertised globally for nine months.

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