This story is a little bit of the opposite of a makeover - a beautiful East Hampton's home with incredible classic beauty -
then eventually looked like this...
"Things just tend to accumulate after Labor Day." - Little Edie Beale
Have you watched the movie "Grey Gardens"?
Oh friends, if you haven't, you truly must!
It is a true story based upon the the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale (Big Edie) and her daughter Edie Bouvier Beale (Little Edie). They were related to Jackie Kennedy Onasis (as aunt and first cousin respectivly) and the movie depicts the mother and daughter's lives of being rich socialites to living in extreme poverty and utter squalar. In the mid-70's a documentary team filmed the two women and the movie quickly became a cult classic. In 2009, HBO released a recreation of the movie staring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. The HBO version recreates some scenes of the original documentary but aslo gives you the before and after story of the women's lives.
It's an amazing movie and I can't tell you how much I love watching it. My little sister and I throw quotes back and forth to one another on Facebook as she is a huge fan of the movie too. We talk in their accents and my sister even donned Little Edie's famous head scarves.
Sorry Julie! But this photo makes me laugh every time!
There is so much interesting trivia surrounding the two women and their eccentric lives. For instance - Little Edie was so beautiful that she used to be a model - even having her picture hung in Macy's. Big Edie was also considered to be a singer/piano prodigy.
And in regards to the actors who flawlessly recreated the women there is also a vast amount of interesting tidbits. Like Drew Barrymore did not communicate with any of her friends or family for the entire length of filming (about 3 months) to better get into the character of the isolated Little Edie.
The home came to utter ruins after years of neglect and through a host of cats and raccoons that came to call "Grey Gardens" home. After Big Edie died, Little Edie sold Grey Gardens to Ben Bradlee, the former executive editor of The Washington Post, and his wife, the writer Sally Quinn on the promise that they would not tear down the home. Little Edie said all the house needed was a "coat of paint!" HA!
I'll share with you a few photos of the home after Sally and Ben purchased it.
When Mrs. Quinn touched a key on the piano, the whole thing collapsed and fell through the floor!
The grande staircase.
Oh just look at the filth on the walls and floor!
After the Beale's
Grey Garden's today.
Here is the link to the complete set of photos:
Some photos and information via Grey Gardens Online and The Official Gey Gardens Fan Site.