Social media and reality TV have shown us a glimpse of the inner lives of the rich and famous – champagne wishes, caviar dreams and all that. We’ve become intimately familiar with celebrities and business elites whose palatial estates cost tens of millions of dollars and require a small army of workers to maintain. The hefty monthly expenditures on on upkeep and taxes alone is enough to make anyone blush.
When you come right down to it, the one percent are just like you and me. They put their pants on one leg at a time, go through the same daily frustrations and challenges in life, and some also have hideous taste in architecture – just like regular people!
Here are five ugly, gaudy or just plain weird celebrity homes:
1. Spaceship House – Naomi Campbell / Vladislav Doronin
Built by billionaire Russian property tycoon Vladislav Doronin for his then-fiancée, supermodel Naomi Campbell, this futuristic residence looks like something straight out of Star Trek. Designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, this angular glass and concrete monstrosity took years to build and can be found in the resort town of Barvikha just outside Moscow.
2. Airport Mansion – John Travolta
When he’s not busy acting, John Travolta is something of an airplane geek in his spare time. An accomplished private pilot with extensive flight experience and a commercial pilot’s license, Travolta owns a fleet of five aircraft including a Boeing 707 commercial jet airliner – all of which he pilots himself.
North of Ocala, Florida lies the little settlement of Jumbolair. Officially titled Jumbolair Aviation Estates, the community bills itself as the “…gold standard for residential aviation communities.” Essentially this is a luxury residential community with its own private airport facilities, including a 1.4 mile runway that leads directly to your front door. Travolta’s 6,400 square foot mansion with attached airplane hangar is located here.
3. Wacky Desert Wonderland – Penn Jillette
Magician Penn Jillette fell in love with this little bit of Las Vegas real estate back in the 1990’s. The property initially featured a single two story building with an A-frame design. Over the years Penn started buying up land around the building expanding his property from a few thousand square feet to a 10 acre compound. He then proceeded to fill his ten acres with a cornucopia of weird and colorful structures that ended up resembling a toddler’s attempt at building a Lego house.
As of 2015, citing pressure from the family, Penn has moved out of his colorful desert wonderland, and is actively seeking buyers.
4. Versailles, Florida – David Siegel
A monument to gaudiness and out of-control-spending, the Versailles is a 90,000 square foot mansion under construction in Windermere, Florida modeled after the Palace of Versailles in France. Commissioned by billionaire David Siegel, construction started in 2004 and stalled in 2006 with 60% of the work done. The house languished for years in its incomplete state during the Great Recession, but construction restarted in 2013 and the property is due to be fully completed by 2016. The Versailles features 14 bedrooms, 11 kitchens, 32 bathrooms, an indoor roller rink and a 2 story movie theater. It is expected to be appraised at $100 million.
The home has been featured in multiple news stories and TV exposés, and was the subject of award winning documentary 2012 The Queen of Versailles which chronicled the Siegel family’s attempts at building the mansion. The Siegels went on to sue the producers of the documentary but lost the case.
5. Gas Station Mansion, Long Island NY
Ok, so it’s not a celeb property, but we just had to include this 6 bed / 5.5 bath / 8,700 square foot Long Island property. Constructed in the 1994’s and consistently ranked as the ugliest mansion in America by Forbes, this ugly domicile has always been something of a local landmark in Lake Success, Long Island. Nicknamed ‘gas-station mansion’ for obvious reasons.
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