02 Nov Open House: America’s Largest Log Cabin Hits The Market
Behold, the most expensive house in Michigan.
To be precise, it’s a massive estate on the shores of Lake Superior that made a splash this week when it hit the market asking $40 million.
Granot Loma, as the 5,000-acre estate is called, contains what the listing calls the “largest log cabin in the world.” The claim seems plausible, given that the main house, made of Oregon pine, cement and stone on a steel frame, totals 26,000 square feet and has 23 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and a kitchen modeled after one at the White House. There’s also a game room where George Gershwin allegedly played a Steinway grand piano (which is still there), a card room, a steam room, a gym and a wine cellar. Beside the 50(!) total rooms, there’s a giant hot tub overlooking the lake, plus a private harbor with a marina and an indoor boathouse.
Its origin story is fascinating. Banking bigwig Louis G. Kaufman, whose funding proved crucial in the early days of both General Motors and Chevrolet, built his summer home with the help of 400 craftsmen over the course of four years, to the tune of $5 million in construction costs (which would be $69.57 million today, according to an inflation calculator). The name Granot Loma comes from combining letters from the names of his three kids (Graveraet, Otto and Louis) with his wife’s, Marie. (The couple had five children total.)
Kaufman intended his home to rival the vacation estates built by East Coast magnates like the Astors, Rockefellers, Guggenheims and Vanderbilts. It was ready for fêtes and family vacations in 1923.
In that vein, no detail was spared. “The doorknobs are handpainted with Indian scenes by Hollywood legend Orry Kelly. The chandelier in the Great Room is the root system of a white pine that LGK played under as a child. It has over 50 animals, insects and people carved into and on it,” according to the estate’s official website. “The mantel in the 30-foot fireplace was the beam in a sunken ship retrieved from Lake Superior. Mrs. Kaufman personally selected the rocks cemented in the fireplace from a rowboat and instructed divers to retrieve them.”
It also has celeb cred: “Hollywood legends such as Fred Astaire, Mary Pickford and George Gershwin ‘camped’ at Granot Loma. United States tennis legend Bill Tilden designed the tennis courts. Muhammed Ali visited Granot Loma in the 1970s and attempted to purchase the property in order to turn it into a boxing camp.”
via NYPost | Photo: Realtor.com