Calvin Klein has left the building. Or, rather, he’s sold off the last of his properties in the Hamptons.
It was widely reported when Calvin Klein and second wife Kelly split up — unofficially in 1996 but not officially divorced until 2006 — that Kelly was keeping the beautiful oceanfront estate in East Hampton she and Calvin bought in 1987 for $3.6 million from the son of Juan Trippe, the founder of Pan American World Airways. And she did remain in residence.
However, deeds filed in Suffolk County show the nearly 8.5-acre spread has been sold, not by Kelly but by Calvin Klein in two contiguous off-market transactions that totaled $85 million. The bulk of the estate went for $75 million, while an undeveloped adjacent strip of land traded at $10 million. (The second transaction also shows Klein’s daughter, “Saturday Night Live” producer Marci Klein, as a signatory.) The buyers are shielded behind a couple of typically mysterious LLCs.
This is actually the second time in about a year that Calvin Klein has sold a Hamptons estate in an off-market deal valued at more than $80 million. In 2003, long after he and Kelly went their separate ways but still some years before their divorce was finalized, Calvin paid $30 million for an oceanfront mansion on Southampton’s Meadow Lane. He demolished it, spent a fortune building a modern glass box in its place, and sold it to hedge funder Ken Griffin last year for a cool $84 million. And, perhaps not coincidentally, Kelly, a photographer and author who also has a home in Palm Beach, has just spent $15.9 million on a tiny waterfront cottage in nearby Sag Harbor, as first reported in the New York Post.
The gorgeous house has an interesting history. In 1891, well-to-do single woman Laura Brevoort Sedgwick (1859-1907) hired noted Hamptons architect Joseph Greenleaf Thorp to build herself a house. Thorp is noted for having designed Grey Gardens, which, by the way, is quite close to this house, as well as another East Hampton mansion later owned by Chevy Chase.
Sedgwick soon met Henry A. James (1854-1929), and they married in the living room of this house. The couple hired Thorp to add on to the house, adding the windmill tower in the middle of the house in 1899. (Windmill houses are kind of a thing in the Hamptons. Many eccentric late 19th century houses in the area had fake windmills added to them; among them a cottage now owned by Robert Downey Jr.)
In 1935, aviation pioneer Juan Trippe (1899-1981), president of Pan Am Airlines, purchased the house and undertook significant renovations. The Kleins, who bought the house 52 years later from Trippe’s son, were only the third owners.
The property consists of the main house, a pool that was added by the Kleins, and, because the property spans both sides of the street, a boathouse on Georgica Pond. Shortly after the Kleins acquired the estate, architect Thierry Despont was brought in to update and refresh the house, which was pictured in Vogue Decoration in 1992.
Even having sold these two huge estates in the Hamptons, Calvin is hardly homeless. Since the early 2000s he’s owned a 10,000-square-foot triplex penthouse in a Richard Meier-desgined building in New York’s West Village — the developers famously took Klein up in a helicopter so he could see exactly what the view would be like from the glass-walled aerie — and in 2015 he shelled out $25 million for a 9,300-square-foot contemporary mansion just above L.A.’s Sunset Strip.