Presidential Connections Abound in Connecticut’s Most Expensive Home

By July 26, 2018Real Estate
It's not just the most expensive house in town. It’s the most expensive home in all of Connecticut.

Who wants to make real estate great again?

This house in Greenwich, Connecticut, isn’t just the most expensive in town. It’s the most expensive home in the entire state.

Listed at a mind-boggling $45 million, this waterfront estate used to be home to Donald and then-wife Ivana Trump, when Donald was just a Democrat-voting real estate tycoon and Ivana was his first and only wife.

Want to know more? Check out these 16 facts about one of the most expensive properties in the United States, located at 21 Vista Drive.

Trump Bought it at a Bargain
Donald Trump originally paid just $4 million for the home. Sometimes in real estate, bargains are relative.

Donald and Ivana purchased the mansion — also known as Haroldyn House — for just $4 million in 1982.

To no one’s surprise, they dressed it up in gold.

Inside the Makeover and Re-Do
The post-Trump owners renovated, undoing many of the features they inherited. The walls along the staircase previously showcased a hand-painted countryside mural.

When Trump owned this property, he put his definitely-not-tacky trademark of gold and over-the-top nouveau riche décor.

“When Donald and Ivana had it, they had it decorated very lavishly,” listing agent Tamar Lurie told the Wall Street Journal. The new owners undid all of that through a series of renovations.

According to the Connecticut Post, Donald and Ivana purchased the mansion during the same time Donald had bought the Plaza Hotel in New York City, so they used many of the same furnishings to make their Greenwich mansion sparkle.

“Decorwise, it was all gold leaf — all of this was gold leaves all over the place. It was kind of dramatic,” Lurie told the Connecticut Post.

Ivana Trump Won it from Donald
Ivana and Donald Trump divorced in 1991, then battled in court afterwards. They're shown here leaving court in 1993. Ivana emerged from the divorce proceedings with ownership of the house.

Ivana and Donald had a bitter divorce in 1991. Donald had been cheating on Ivana — the mother of Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivana Trump — with Marla Maples in a much publicized affair.

Ivana won this estate from her ex-husband in the divorce proceedings. She held onto it until 1998, when she sold it to the current owners for $15 million.

Ivana also won $14 million, an apartment in Trump Plaza and access to Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for one month a year.

Who Owns it Now?
A retired Bear Stearns executive now owns the waterfront property.

Robert Steinberg and his wife, Suzanne, bought the property in 1998 from Ivana. Robert Steinberg is a retired Bear Stearns executive.

Another tidbit: the Steinbergs have also purchased a $9.5 million Florida estate once owned by Tom Petters, a disgraced businessman serving a 50-year sentence for a $3.7 billion Ponzi scheme in 2008.

Explore Tons of Square Footage
Based on the price per square foot, if one of the closets is eight square feet, it’s essentially an $18,208 closet.

In total, the mansion is 19,773 square feet, which comes to $2,276 per square foot for the $45 million estate.

So, for example, if one of the closets is eight square feet, it’s essentially an $18,208 closet.

By comparison, the median price per square footage of homes of a house in Greenwich is $609 (Greenwich is expensive).

Three fully equipped staff apartments make up the additional square footage.

Does it Have a Presidential Front?
The house's resemblance to the White House stops at the front porch.

Is it just us, or does it seem like the architects had a bit of inspiration from the White House?

You could certainly say it has presidential aspirations. Although any resemblance to the White House stops at the front porch.

Step through the front door and you’ll find a breathtaking entryway, with a butterfly stairway framing a castle-like archway below an epic three-tiered chandelier.

The entryway is much more subdued from when Donald Trump owned the property. Back then, the walls along the staircase showcased a hand-painted countryside mural, while the walls below the stairs were paneled mirrors.

Some Old World Charms Remain
The expertly decorated living room includes a 19th century fireplace with intricate millwork.

Despite the Trumps’ garish architectural assault, the Georgian Colonial retains its original feel. This is especially apparent in the mansion’s expertly decorated living room, which includes a 19th century fireplace.

However, the home isn’t too old. It was built out of brick in 1939 for $200,000 and originally included a bowling alley, which, sadly, is no longer present.

Additionally the new owners have renovated and added more than 4,000 square feet to the property.

Behold the Georgian-Style Bathroom
Some cool period touches in this Georgian bathroom have survived the renovations.

If any room in this house screams Georgian style, it’s this bathroom — and that may not be a bad thing.

While there are some “Hey! Look at me!” features — like the nearly full-length stained glass window that looks out over the pool or the wall-to-wall ‘90s mirrored paneling (Trump’s remaining influence?) — this room does have some cool period touches.

Mint green ceramic tiles flank the whole space, and they go well with the honey-toned wood on the built-in dresser (yes, those were a thing).

There’s a pedestal sink, light fixtures that almost look like they should be gas lit and even a few Georgian style towel hooks.

Party in the Basement
The basement movie theater seats 22 people in comfort.

One newer addition to the property is an expanded basement, which includes a tremendous home theater.

With wall spots for movie posters, a projection screen and tiered seating for 22 people, it’s a great spot to watch movies. Also downstairs: a gym, a billiard room with wet bar and an additional family room.

There’s even a children’s room, so you can keep an eye on your kids while you hustle your friends and drink.