Inside the Versace Mansion: Photos From the $25 Million Open House
Every door inside the former home of the slain fashion icon Gianni Versace was unlocked.
All photos by Zachary Fagenson For swimming or for wishing?
Now on the auction block after its owner filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, the opulent 23,000-square-foot manse now known as Casa Casuarina was an open house this week as a team of lawyers, auctioneers, and high-powered realtors prepared to sell the iconic property at a September 17 auction. On a sweltering July afternoon, dozens of reporters and photographers, sweating and toting cameras up and down its three stories, gawked at the ten rooms and 11 bathrooms. Here's what we found inside:
The starting bid is $25 million. The marble, fresco, and 24-karat gold-covered home will be sold at that price if no one bids higher, said Lamar P. Fisher, president of Fisher Auction Co.
Hopeful buyers will have to put $3 million in escrow and show proof of $40 million to get a seat at the auction. The winning bidder will have to put up enough to make 10 percent of the total sale price. On the spot.
Powerhouse realtors Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg (who just sold disgraced banker Claudio Osorio's Star Island home for $30 million) brought the house to market for a whopping $125 million in June 2012. Since then, its price has tumbled to $100 million, then $75 million, and finally $25 million for the upcoming auction.
Casa Casuarina is like the Vatican. Every wall, every floor, and every window is so ornate and detailed it's easy not to see an upcoming turn in a hallway or forget which door leads to the shaded, marble-floored courtyard. Versace bought it in 1992 for about $10 million and poured an additional $33 million into it.
Besides the intricate mosaics -- and the reliefs of John D. Rockefeller and Benito Mussolini -- here are the top ten things that made us pause in awe and confusion:
10. 24-Karat-Gold Tiles in the Pool
You hear about the gold-covered and -flaked tiles in the intricate, all-marble pool. You don't quite get it until standing in front of the thing and the luster and twinkle of every small tile changes with every step.