Behind the Michaelangelo copies and bling… Liberace party house for sale at £345,000
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Thursday 27 June 2013
It was once the ultimate bling-filled party house, but, despite its gilded history, Liberace’s sprawling Las Vegas mansion is now on the market for a mere $529,900 (£345,000).
The home once owned by the flamboyant pianist was seized from its previous owner by JP Morgan Chase after going into foreclosure; the bank is accepting cash offers only for the 14,939-sq ft property.
Built in 1962 with entertaining visitors high on the agenda, the two-storey, two-bedroom, 10-bathroom house is said to be in a state of advanced neglect, with exposed wires poking from between the peeling wallpaper. Yet its next owner can nonetheless look forward to some unique features, including a portrait of Liberace above the sunken marble Jacuzzi, and a $1.6m (£1m) reproduction of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel paintings on the bedroom ceiling. The antique Grecian marble pillars, Baccarat crystal sconces and five elaborate hearths also remain.
Liberace, aka W?adziu Valentino Liberace, owned 11 homes in Las Vegas, New York, Palm Springs and several Los Angeles neighbourhoods. The Vegas mansion was sold by his estate in 1989, two years after his death from an HIV/AIDS-related illness. Property developer Terrance Dzvonick bought it in 2006 for $3.7m (£2.4m), to use as a lavish banquet venue. But after neighbours complained about the noise and the authorities forbade further parties, Dzvonick was unable to meet the monthly $20,000 (£13,100) mortgage.
The house was scouted as a location but not used in the acclaimed movie about Liberace, Behind the Candelabra.
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