Cleveland’s Coe Château

Originally published in The Society Guide by HL BISE

“I was reminded of something—an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost words, that I had heard somewhere a long time ago.”

― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

13303 Lakeshore Exterior

At the turn of the twentieth century Cleveland’s elite started building grand retreats, secured behind gallant masonry and wrought-iron gates in a village just six miles east of downtown on the shore of Lake Erie. It’s known as Bratenahl. Today, a few of those mansions, located in the area just shy of one square mile, still stand—reminiscent of a bygone era reserved only for those of privilege, wealth and sophistication.

One such lakefront estate is 13303 Lakeshore Boulevard constructed in 1923. Ralph M. Coe, the only son of Lord Mortimer Coe, who was an eminent figure in Cleveland’s prosperous iron trade, commissioned architect James Montgomery Hamilton (MEADE & HAMILTON) to design a summer home in the French Normandy style.  Hamilton, an MIT graduate, spent a few years in Europe post his degree honing his skills for his American nouveau riche clients’ fascination with French architecture.

13303 Lakeshore Interior 2

The châteauesque property was constructed with stone, stucco and brick with a steep slate-tiled roof and copper gutters. The nearly ten thousand square feet interior is more majestic with stone archways, marble columns, leaded glass windows, an elevator, six ornate fireplaces, nineteen rooms including nine bedrooms, ten bathrooms and an indoor pool.  Additionally the esteemed estate hosts an outdoor pool, 210 feet of lake-frontage, multiple terraces and patios, lush gardens and a heated garage. Over the past ninety years, the property has changed ownership, with each owner taking great pride in honoring the integrity of the home’s history with modern upgrades—such as gourmet kitchen, central air, heated flooring, security and audio systems, and much more for a 21st century lifestyle.

13303 Lakeshore Interior 1

The 1923 Coe Château, located at 13303 Lakeshore Boulevard in Bratenahl, is currently being offered for sale by Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West.

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JackalopeA little over twenty years ago I visited the little town of Cody, Wyoming:   A cowboy settlement known as the Rodeo Capital of The World and named after that great showman William Fredrick Cody, aka, Buffalo Bill.  At twenty years of age I was mesmerized by the culture of this quaint town and saw my very first jackalope hanging on a wall, so with Wild West jubilation I purchased my father the most beautiful calfskin gloves, with fringe, for a hefty c-note, thinking he’d just LOVE this token from Cody. He didn’t. Oh well…

What I didn’t know back then is that the cowboy of the art world “Action Jackson” was born in Cody, sharing my birthday of January 28.  If I had known, since I do have a passion for “tracking” interesting dwellings, I would’ve tracked down his birth abode like a “Wild Bill” Hickok of the real estate world.

But I didn’t. So here I am today, making-up for my wish-I-would’ve-known, bringing you the east coast abodes of the man who is known to be the leading force behind the abstract expressionist movement: Jack the Dripper, aka, Jackson Pollock.

Pollock Krasner HomeThe most famous of Pollock’s dwellings is 830 Springs-Fireplace Rd in East Hampton. The property was constructed in 1879 as a fisherman’s house, resting on 1.56 acres, with a barn near Accobonac Creek.  Pollock and his artist-wife, Lee Krasner, stumbled upon this home in 1945 with an asking price of $5,000. Somewhat struggling artists at the time Peggy Guggenheim gave them $2,000 for their down-payment in exchange for art. Ole’ Peg did well on that trade or did Pollock…

I’d say Pollock did. He found his ‘drip and splash’ voice in that barn-studio, mastering that Wild West-style of not using an easel, but the floor. He became worldrenowned.

After Lee Krasner’s death the Springs home was given to The Stony Brook Foundation. For five buckaroos you can visit the homestead too. INFO

Jackson-Pollock-Aaron-Burr-46-Carmine-StreetNow, if you’re like me and can’t afford your very own Action Jackson drip-n-splash masterpiece, you might want to consider taking out a mortgage (or paying cash if you’re a Peggy Guggenheim-type), and purchasing 46 Carmine Street #4 in the Wild West Village, where it’s said that Pollock resided as a renter. It’s only $1,250,000.00. Now that’s an affordable Huckleberry. Yeehaw!

Click here for the listing details.

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A Tribute to Keith Richards

[UPDATED 2014*]

I spend a small fortune on books, biographies in particular. It doesn’t matter whom the published manuscript is about or written by or co-written with, I’m just drawn to them; they call my name, HEATHER, read ME. And in a way, they’ve become my drink, like a big glass of Château Lafite that always gets better with age, needing no introduction.

The bounded lives of Alan Greenspan, Albert Einstein, Hank Paulson, Henry Kissinger, Ted Turner, Barbara Walters, Tennessee Williams, Nelson Mandela, Warren Buffet, and Yehudi Menuhin are just a few that rest on my overflowing shelves of dog-eared pages. There’s usually no rhyme or reason for each biography about to be downloaded by moi: sometimes they’re gifts, sometimes I find them tossed on the street, and other times, it’s just because I don’t know anything about the particular subject—that celebrated person. And the strangest thing, reading the lives of all of these personalities, is that I always learn a few tidbits about New York or real estate matters—how one feels about places, such as their home(s). (Yes, I know, I’ve written about this many times before today.)

With that, Keith Richards entered my life two weeks ago via his memoir, LIFE. I’ve never been a Rolling Stones connoisseur, so I didn’t buy his book; I borrowed it—from the library.

So as I was drinking-in Keith’s borrowed LIFE, I was finding it rather typical and unrelatable (drug-enhanced, überrocker, blah), until chapter 5. That’s where he got me—on page 187, pulling me in, elegantly and delicate, like only a vintage Rothchild, 1st cru classé can do:

“We spoke to each other the minute we saw each other.”

He was referring to a house: charming, not grand; a thatched, Elizabethan farmhouse surrounded by a moat, located in West Sussex, called Redlands. According to Keith, he was driving around in his Bentley with a list of homes available for sale, and a blasé mission: “Oh, I’m going to buy a house today.” He took a wrong turn and ended-up in the drive of Redlands. An older man there gave him directions and then asked Keith if he was looking for a house to buy. To which Keith replied: Why yes, I am. The owner of Redlands told Keith, if he cared to, he could buy his home. “Because I fell in love with Redlands the minute I saw it,” Keith asked, “How much?” The owner responded, “Twenty grand.” This was around 1 pm and by that evening, after retrieving “the bread” from a London bank, putting the loot in a brown paper bag, “I was back down in Redlands, in front of the fireplace, and we signed the deal. And he turned the deeds over to me. It was like cash on the barrelhead, done in a really old-fashioned way,” he wrote. That was in 1966, and today, he still owns that thatched-pad on Redlands Lane.

Now, I can relate to that!   It was after this, that I started to read between the bass-lines of LIFE, no longer focusing on the treble-line chords in the key of “H,” realizing that Keith Richards is an old soul—with music, homes, books, people; sincere and true to the artistry in LIFE, like I am…in a far-off-way.

And of course, I’m nothing like a famous person or gifted guitarist-songwriter, but I do feel a kinship with the man, now that I have read his book. And now, I need to buy LIFE for the humble shelves that line the interior of my abode.

“I lead a gentleman’s life.  Listen to Mozart, read many, many books. I’m
a voracious reader. I’ll read anything.”  -Keith Richards, LIFE (PG 522, first edition)

Library in Connecticut. Photo by Christopher Sykes

Bonus note: As far as NYC homes, Keith Richards lived in numerous
Manhattan Hotels* over the decades, referring to them as “home,” before moving into Penthouse #1109 located in the Silk Building, 14 East 4th, which just so happens to be on the market today for $4,895,000.00 (post Keith, Russell Simmons and Britney Spears have been owners of this unit, too). CLICK HERE for the listing details.  Today, he’s no longer living on the island of Gotham. Since 1991, Keith and his family have called, in jest, “Camelot Costalot,” their permanent residence, located in Weston (Connecticut).

*3.7.14 Update: Keith and his wife just boomeranged back into NYC purchasing a four-bedroom penthouse on lower Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village.

**Jimi Hendrix, another guitarist-songwriter-extraordinaire was a hotel-dweller for years in NYC, too, until he decided to settle down, calling his permanent home 59 West 12th Street in the Village. (Sadly, that apartment is not on the market, today.)

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Flag2016 is a leap year, just as it was in 1776. So on this snowy leap year morn’ I attended my friend’s Oath Ceremony to become an American Citizen.  Her journey to reach this point has taken her a decade. And it is not for me to elaborate on how hard this crossing to red-white-and-blue has been for her, because that is her story to tell when she is ready; but as I sat in the Federal Courthouse witnessing my friend and so many others smile with such genuineness and pride, I became absolutely elated for each and every one of them.  I wondered about all of their journeys to this point and the legacy they will build here, now that they are all American.  I truly want them to succeed here in the United States of America.

Today’s humbling event washed over me, like it was erasing all of that mumbo-jumbo pertaining to the upcoming presidential election—political opinions, passionate praises and bashings and loose hypocrisy voiced by “experts” and the nearly proficient, especially on social media. All of that just didn’t seem as important as to what I had witnessed today.

The Federal Judge’s final message was a poem and it was perfect.  I do hope it sang true and loud for all of my new countrymen as I did to me:

“My Creed”

I do not choose to be a common man,
It is my right to be uncommon … if I can,
I seek opportunity … not security.
I do not wish to be a kept citizen.
Humbled and dulled by having the
State look after me.
I want to take the calculated risk;
To dream and to build.
To fail and to succeed.
I refuse to barter incentive for a dole;
I prefer the challenges of life
To the guaranteed existence;
The thrill of fulfillment
To the stale calm of Utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence
Nor my dignity for a handout
I will never cower before any master
Nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect.
Proud and unafraid;
To think and act for myself,
To enjoy the benefit of my creations
And to face the world boldly and say:
This, with God’s help, I have done
All this is what it means
To be an American.


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