05 August 2011

Roxanne Pulitzer’s $19.9 Million Home

Story first appeared on WSJ.com
In the 1980s, Roxanne Pulitzer's bitter divorce from an heir to the Pulitzer publishing fortune made her the subject of headline-grabbing accusations ranging from cocaine use to occult rituals, all set in the wealthy enclave of Palm Beach, Fla.
Three decades and a few husbands later, Ms. Pulitzer, 60, appears to enjoy a quieter life today, though she said she does enjoy sleeping in late and drinking wine in the afternoon. She and her fifth husband, Tim Boberg, have focused lots of energy, and money, on their 23,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom home, set on 3½ acres overlooking the San Miguel Mountains. Decorated in a style that's best described as log-mountain-lodge-meets-Palm Beach, the house has a bowling alley, an indoor shooting range, a putting green, an indoor lap pool and a waterfall. There's also a replica of a labyrinth in Chartres, France, 45 feet in diameter.
After adding nearly every amenity they could think of, Ms. Pulitzer and Mr. Boberg, a 64-year-old retired co-founder of a large management consulting firm, said they've run out of house projects. So they've decided to sell, putting their house on the market earlier this year for $19.9 million, making it one of the most expensive listings in this remote mountain community. Not far away, comedian Jerry Seinfeld recently listed his 14,200-square-foot, 11-bedroom home on 26 acres for $18.3 million.
The home, originally 8,800 square feet, is now 23,000 square feet.
Matthew Hintermeister, the listing broker with Peaks Real Estate Sotheby's International Realty, said although the price-per-square foot for their place is similar to other listings in the area, he's only had a few showings so far (potential buyers must prove they have nearly $20 million in liquid assets to see the house). The couple said they're realistic about market. The buyer "would have to be somebody who loves a labyrinth," Ms. Pulitzer said.
Ms. Pulitzer, who received minimal alimony and lost custody of her sons after her divorce battle in the 1980s, later wrote a tell-all book about it. She's since written three novels based in Palm Beach, and is currently working on her fifth book. In 1999 she and Mr. Boberg met in Palm Beach, where they have an apartment. They bought their Telluride home in 2001 for $5.5 million and in 2006, were married on the back deck of house. It's the third marriage for Mr. Boberg and Ms. Pulitzer's fifth. When they bought it in 2001, the house was 8,800 square feet. But a couple of years later Ms. Pulitzer told her husband she wanted a bowling alley for her birthday. In the end, the couple expanded the house by an additional 13,600 square feet and added more amenities, spending more than $8.5 million.
To avoid adding a narrow, oblong shape to the house, the couple decided to widen the addition by also placing a shooting range and a 70-foot-long lap pool on either side of the bowling alley.
The bowling alley has an AMF regulation electronic scoring system. The shooting range is made of 1-foot-thick, steel-reinforced concrete and has a switch-operated wind machine that sucks the lead particles out. The indoor swimming pool is flanked by two giant sculptures of Buddha heads as well as a fireplace and cushioned lounge chairs.
Directly upstairs, the couple built a 4,000-square-foot master suite decorated much like the rest of the house. While there are vaulted ceilings with log beams and a large stone fireplace, the furnishings, created by the couple's designer in Palm Beach, include comparatively delicate-looking couches and chairs upholstered in pale pink and green fabrics. The bathroom walls are in pink fabric brocade.
Outside the couple's bedroom is a giant teak sculpture of a rhinoceros, part of Mr. Boberg's large collection, much of which is displayed around the house. Ms. Pulitzer's passion is gardening, and in addition to her outdoor gardens there's also a glass solarium just off the swimming pool, complete with misters and grow lights. There are a few remnants from her years of infamy, including a framed photo of Ms. Pulitzer when she posed for Playboy and framed notes from the late Hunter S. Thompson, who she said she become friends with after he wrote about her divorce trial for Rolling Stone magazine.
Mr. Boberg said he's already looking forward to possibly building a new house in the area when this place sells, though Ms. Pulitzer is more reluctant to let the home go.

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