Ed Taylor's chateau set for auction Dec. 18
Nov 28, 2012 (Tulsa World - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Ed Taylor developed the technology that paved the way for satellite broadcasting, but his most famous creation is an incredibly detailed homage to the past.
Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons -- better known to English speakers as the House of Four Seasons -- is Taylor's recreation of a 17th century French chateau. The mansion at 7219 S. Evanston Ave. will go up for auction Dec. 18.
Dennis Tate, executive administrator of Taylor's estate, said the mostly retired Taylor decided that passing the property to another owner should be done now.
"It's time to bring closure to this chapter," he said.
Williams & Williams, the Tulsa worldwide real estate auction company, plans to hold open houses at the 20,000-square-foot property from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Friday until the auction date.
Every room of the giant chateau is designed to impress, starting with the 1-ton chandelier in the entryway. Tate said that piece was repurposed from a hotel in France.
Just beyond the entry is the "grand room," which at 1,470 square feet is bigger than many houses. Two more chandeliers hang there among various oil paintings permanently embedded on the walls.
The master bedroom is loaded with luxury touches, including a working fireplace -- one of nine in the house -- ornate designs in the plaster ceiling and a carpet by Edward Fields, the company that provides carpeting for the White House. A side door leads to the spa, which includes a whirlpool and a "habitat," which can act as a sauna or replicate the atmosphere of any climate in the world, such as a tropical rain forest.
That's just the start of the curiosities in the west wing. The bathroom on the masculine side is decked out in dark polished marble, while the feminine side has a bathroom with ample drapery, gold faucets in the shape of swans, five closets and a refrigerated closet designed for fur coats.
The remainder of the west wing includes a large library with even more oil paintings on the ceiling, an enclosed patio with ample greenery and a high ceiling with a pickled wood finish and a combination study, office and breakfast bar.
The small powder room, like most rooms in the house, also has a small chandelier.
"The west wing was designed for isolation, so the people staying there could have a private life," Tate said.
The other three bedrooms in the house aren't much less grand, as they're all laid out as spacious suites with their own private closets and bathrooms. Each has a unique design, as does every other room, Tate said.
"Building and furnishing each room was like building an entire house," he said.
The eastern side of the house features a trophy room complete with a bar for entertaining guests, a kitchen area with a large bar and a restaurant-style booth for a breakfast area, and a large club room that bends off from the main house at a 30-degree angle, accompanied by a grid of lumber beams as a ceiling accent.
The chateau features more luxury touches than a person can count -- the bar sports silkscreened brass, the bedrooms have folded silk drapes on the ceiling, and the walls of the solarium have more than 20 coats of finish on them. Gold plating is the norm on finishings, even on the door hinges.
Taylor made his fortune in part by founding Southern Satellite Systems Inc., providing the satellite technology that allowed Ted Turner to transform a local Atlanta television station into the TBS cable network, and establishing Satellite Program Network, the first ad-supported cable television network that was eventually recast as CNBC.
Taylor and many others began the planning and construction of the chateau in the late 1980s, though due to the complexity of the design it took eight years to finish.
And, technically, it still isn't finished. An additional 5,000 square feet in spaces on the second floor above the west wing and above every second-floor bedroom are still waiting to be shaped into living spaces, Tate said.
Taylor intended to build the chateau as a gift to his wife, Nancy, but she passed away before it was completed. As a result, he never lived in the home, though he frequently entertained guests there, Tate said.
The chateau was listed for sale at an asking price of $12 million two years ago, but it didn't find a buyer.
Tate said he believes an auction is the best way to handle such a unique property.
"Auctions engage buyers and create a sense of immediacy and urgency," he said. "It's different when people are at the property being sold."
Robert Evatt 918-581-8447
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