New owner buys the Vanderbilt Berkshires Estate, formerly Elm Court

STOCKBRIDGE and LENOX, MA. – Linda Law, the former owner of the gilded-age Blantyre Estate in Lenox, has purchased the Vanderbilt Berkshires Estate (VBE), formerly Elm Court, the largest shingled residence in the United States and one of the few remaining historically significant gilded-age mansions in the Northeast.

The 89-acre estate, which spans the cities of Lenox and Stockbridge in Massachusetts, was designed in 1885 as a summer residence for Emily T. Vanderbilt and her husband William D. Sloane. Its expansive grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the ‘father of landscape architecture’ who also designed New York City’s Central Park and the U.S. Capital. There are also additional residences and amenities on the property, including stables and greenhouses.

Law and her business partner, Dr. Rick Peiser, professor of real estate development at the Harvard University School of Design, are exploring alternative concepts for VBE. One of which is a luxury resort, with Law in discussion with several operators. The estate is fully entitled for 112 guestrooms, as well as a 15,000-square-foot spa and a 60-seat restaurant.

“While this grand Berkshire estate is suitable for a country retreat, we are not yet certain what the next incarnation of this legacy property will be. But what we do know is that our team is going to be very deliberate in its thoughtful renovation to restore the vibrancy of this treasured landmark,” says Law. “Collectively, we have done a tremendous amount of research on the architecture and design of the Gilded Age and the history of the Vanderbilt family, and we feel a tremendous responsibility to pay homage to its legendary past,” she said. “Equally as important, we will pay the utmost attention to the historical importance of Elm Court as its own entity, as well as its position and prominence in the Lenox and Stockbridge communities,” she adds.

A Storied History
Elm Court was designed in 1885 by premier architects Peabody and Sterns as a summer residence for Emily T. Vanderbilt and her husband, William D. Sloane. The Sloanes, who had five children, aimed to build a modest home. However, at the end …


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