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Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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Where Time Stands Still I magine forking over $30 million for a house—and then having to renovate the kitchen. It's what buyers need to consider when touring Rachel "Bunny" Lambert Mellon's $28.7-million, eight-bedroom, nine-bathroom water- front compound in the gated Cape Cod community of Oyster Harbors. While the wealthy philanthropist knew her way around the home's over- flowing gardens—she redesigned the Rose Garden at The White House for Jacqueline Kennedy—you can guess she didn't spend much time in the kitchen; it is designed for a staff of cooks with commercial-grade appli- ances, a separate pastry room, and functional cabinetry. But if you focus on the kitchen you're missing the point, says listing agent Jack Cotton of Sotheby's International Realty in Osterville on Cape Cod. "The house is like a work of art," he says. "Most features of the home are built by hand, and no matter what room you're in, you feel like you're in a painting. Time stands still." "No matter what room [of the house] you're in, you feel like you're in a painting. " From the moment you pull into the 6,893-square-foot home's gravel and sand driveway, you'll feel like you're returning to a bygone-era Cape Cod. The simple white-painted shingle house with white shutters is low-slung and blends in with its surroundings. You'll drive past an orchard of perfectly trimmed apple trees; then a wall of rose hedges enclose Mellon's bountiful edible garden, where fruits, vegetables, and flowers grow all summer long. (It currently is being kept up by an on-staff gardener.) While Mellon, who turns 102 in August, spends most of her time at her 4,000-acre Virginia farm, she was known to grab a basket from her Cape home's "basket room" to take outside. Famously private, Mellon grew up in a wealthy East Coast family. (Her grandfather invented Listerine.) As the second wife of the financier Paul Mellon, she spurned publicity while entertaining two generations of British royalty and becoming one of Jacqueline Kennedy's closest friends. The couple also amassed a priceless art collection—paintings by Cézanne, Rothko, and van Gogh. They collected homes with as much passion, building the 21-room Cape Cod estate in 1954. In spite of her aversion to publicity, Mellon made the news in 2010 when she lost $5.75 million in a ponzi scheme run by her longtime investment adviser Kenneth Starr; she also donated a large sum to former presidential candidate John Edwards. In recent years she has unloaded several of her homes: her two Paris flats in 2011, and two Manhattan townhouses, one in '05 and the other in '09. In March, Mellon's 27-acre estate in Antigua went on the market for $14.5 million. The Cape Cod mansion has been on the market since January. The home's most spectacular feature may be what lies beyond it: The property's 26 acres converge on nearly 1,000 feet of undeveloped shore- front along the Seapuit River. There are wide-open views of Martha's Vineyard, Sampsons Island, and beyond to Nantucket Sound from inside the house and out. "What's so genius about this property is the privacy," says Cotton. Even though there are incredible views from every room, boaters passing by can't see anything but the roof. Even though the house sits on a slight hill, the home's landscaping as well as its low profile keep it protected from prying eyes. There is no air conditioning. Mellon never thought it necessary on the Cape. But there is a beach house with two decks, a fireplace overlooking the water, and a walkway to the beach shaded by a canopy of oak trees. Says Cotton, "It's best for someone who values privacy. There really are no neighbors—she owns the whole point." Jack Cotton, Sotheby's International Realty, 508-957-5500 BC 116 legendary architects Peabody & Stearns and features a stained-glass skylight by John La Farge and carved wood and fresco-style ceilings. The entertaining spaces are palatial, and there are 28 fireplaces to boot. Broker: Tracy Campion, Campion & Company, 617-236-0711 211 commonWeaLtH aVe., bacK baY Price: $17,900,000 Owner: Peter, Jane, Ellen, and Stephen Roy Year Built: 1883 Bedrooms: 11 Bathrooms: 9 full, 5 half Total Square Feet: 15,000 Winning Investment Because: Painstakingly restored in 2000, this home has 14 fireplaces, a marble music room, dramatic staircase, four-car garage, roof terrace, and an elevator to all floors. Broker: Beth Dickerson, Gibson Sotheby's International Realty, 857-362-1700 52 sHiPs eagLe Lane, osteRViLLe Price: $17,000,000 Owner: Charles and Deborah Doe Year Built: 1880 Bedrooms: 10 Bathrooms: 8 full, 3 half Total Square Feet: 13,838 Acreage: 9.39 Winning Investment Because: This property includes the 1880s manor, a guest house, caretaker's cottage, pool pavilion, and private dock. An exercise room is outfitted with treadmills and free weights, and the indoor pool is lit by chandeliers. Broker: Jack Cotton, Sotheby's International Realty, 508-957-5500 986 sea VieW aVe., osteRViLLe Price: $16,500,000 Owner: William C. Carey Year Built: 1930 Bedrooms: 6 Bathrooms: 5 full, 1 half Total Square Feet: 7,773 Acreage: 2.71 Winning Investment Because: The stucco exterior, balconies, and courtyard lend a Mediterranean feel to this Cape house. The living room features a vaulted ceiling, while another room's double wall of windows offers stunning sunset views. Broker: Robert Kinlin, Robert Paul Properties, 508-648-2739 74 beacon st., beacon HiLL Price: $14,950,000 Owner: Peter and Elizabeth Georgantas Year Built: 1828 Bedrooms: 6 Bathrooms: 6 full, 3 half Total Square Feet: 8,450 Acreage: 0.05 Winning Investment Because: Overlooking the Public Gardens, this renovated townhome features a rooftop infinity- edge pool. A large elevator services all six levels, and there's even a garage. Broker: Tracy Campion, Campion & Company, 617-236-0711 45 WaLtHam RoaD, WaYLanD Price: $14,900,000 Owner: Roy MacDowell Year Built: 2002 Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 6 full, 4 half Total Square Feet: 25,400 Acreage: 4.5 Winning Investment Because: This sprawling colonial with fieldstone entry walls has a 1,740-square-foot guest- house with a chef's kitchen and swimming pool. Plus, the home offers a gym with steam room, billiards room, and home theater. Broker: Kathryn Richlen, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 781-893-4500 PHotogRaPHY coURtesY oF coLDWeLL banKeR ResiDentiaL bRoKeRage (45 WaLtHam): cRaig anDeRson (meLLon estate); boston ViRtUaL imaging (74 beacon eXteRioR); asHLee cooPeR (tHe oaKs); PatRicK Wiseman (986 sea VieW); boston ViRtUaL imaging (74 beacon PooL); Diane anton (63 WinsoR)

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