Mar 26, 2014
Fit for a King: Historic Connecticut Castle in Cornwall for Sale
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Yet, Cicio had fallen in love with the property. “It was a very magical place,” he says. The castle had fallen into some disrepair, but Cicio thought he could restore it to its old glory (Restoring real estate is something of a hobby for Cicio who once owned most of the properties in Warren's commercial district and who redesigned Joan Rivers Connecticut home after recieving a special request from the actress).
The castle was a weekend home for Cicio, who would host regular gatherings on the property. Slim Keith, the famed socialite and onetime wife of Howard Hawks, was a frequent guest at these parties as was John Richardson, the art historian and Picasso biographer, and Bill Paley, the iconic broadcasting executive who founded CBS (Paley once helicoptered into the Cornwall estate). These parties were written about in New York Magazine. However, Cicio says they were not overly extravagant.
“It was not Gatsby or anything like that,” he says.
After he renovated the property, Cicio put the place on the market. He received offers from Dan Aykroyd, the actor, Zuben Mehta, the classical music conductor, and Bob Guccione, who started Penthouse magazine. Cicio ultimately sold the property to Alex Conroy, who later sold the property.
Now that the estate is back on the market, Goldspiel, the realtor listing it, says it appeals to very rich individuals who are looking for something unique.
“It’s people looking for privacy and land and they are gravitating towards this for the romance about it and the architecture significance,” he says. He adds that though the exteriors are extremely dramatic, the inside of the castle is not that over the top (see one of the bedrooms pictured below). “If you’ve traveled overseas, the chateaus and castles, they’re overwhelming; you can’t imagine anyone living in them today. This is really different, it’s still 8,500 square feet but it’s not overwhelming.”
In addition to the 225 acres the castle is being listed with, there is the opportunity for interested buyers to purchase additional property and bring the estate total to 1,000 acres.
Goldspiel explains that this type of top tier property generally takes longer to sell, and the real estate market is still recovering from the recession, especially when it comes to high-end properties.
“Since 2010 there have only been two houses in Litchfield County sold for over $5 million [both sales were in 2013], but none have sold that are over $6 million," he says. But he adds, things are starting to change, and “the high end really just started to pick up.”
Cicio, the castle’s former owner, believes the estate will not be difficult to sell.
“There’s nothing to compare it to. It’s not like you can say, ‘Let’s go look at the next castle down the road,’” he says.