Ben Bradlee, who was editor of the Washington Post when the newspaper's exposure of Watergate led to the downfall of President Nixon, died yesterday at age 93. He and wife Sally Quinn, also a journalist, purchased the beautiful yet famously run down East Hampton estate Grey Gardens in 1979 for $220,000.
The 6000sf house, built in 1897, was made famous by an eponymous 1975 documentary starring then-owners Edith "Big Edie" Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale. The ladies lived alone in their former summer house, suffering from hoarding and other mental illnesses, living with vermin. Eventually, embarrassed, their cousin Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had the house cleaned up, although by the time the Bradlees bought the place, it was a mess again. (There are some great pictures of Grey Gardens over the years at the Gardenista site. Take a look!)
The Bradlees lovingly restored and renovated the dignified old place and have used it as their summer home ever since. The property is 1.7 acres with lovely gardens, while the house boasts 10 bedrooms and 6.5 baths.
· All Grey Gardens Coverage [CH]
· Grey Gardens: The Resurrection of Ben Bradlee's Grand Estate [Gardenista]