East Hampton’s Grey Gardens available as a two-week rental for $135,000

By Candace Taylor | February 02, 2011 02:51PM

From left: Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, Bill Williams and Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens, the famous former home of Edith “Big Edie” Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale, is available for rent this summer.

Bill Williams of Sotheby’s International Realty is the exclusive listing agent for the 6,000-square-foot house at 3 West End Road in East Hampton. It’s available for the last two weeks in August, including Labor Day, for a total of $135,000, Williams said.

Designed by Joseph Greenleaf Thorpe in 1897, the house was immortalized in a 1975 documentary film “Grey Gardens” by Albert and David Maysles. The film chronicled the lives of the reclusive Beales — the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis — who lived together in the crumbling mansion for decades. The documentary was adopted into a Broadway musical and a 2009 movie starring Drew Barrymore.

After Big Edie’s death, Little Edie sold the house in 1979 to former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and his wife, journalist Sally Quinn. The house was “completely renovated” in 2003, Williams said.

“Everything was gutted and done over,” Williams said. “It’s a very cool old house.”

Pool at Grey Gardens

The eight-bedroom manse sits on a two-acre lot about 300 feet from the beach and across from Steven Spielberg’s house, Williams said. A tennis court and gunite pool flank the house, along with the property’s famous gardens, the current layout of which Quinn designed, Williams said.

Quinn and Bradlee have rented the house in the past, Williams said, but it’s not usually available for such a large chunk of August, he said.

Asked whether the house’s notoriety draws renters or repels them, Williams said the former.

“I think people realize that it’s completely redone,” he said. “There are no more raccoons in the attic. We’ve gotten calls already. It’s a novelty for some people, who want to stay in Grey Gardens. It has that history to it.”