One of Sydney’s historic and most luxurious waterfront residences, previously the dwelling place of Academy award-winner Russell Crowe and the billion-dollar Murdoch family, is being offered for sale at A$37 million (US$27.5 million) by Christie’s International Real Estate.
Built in 1886 as a ladies’ college, the estate sits on a premium 1,662-square-metre plot with harbour views in Elizabeth Bay, a suburb in eastern Sydney. The revived Victorian villa, named Berthong, was sold to its current owners by Crowe in 2003, after only a two-year occupancy. Before that, the residence belonged to Rupert Murdoch, whose family used it as a Sydney base from 1995. The Australian-American media magnate reportedly resided upstairs, while the lower level was occupied by his son Lachlan and wife Sarah.
If the five-bedroom mansion were to sell for its current asking price, the sale will set a new valuation record for the area.
Formerly known as Macleay House, Berthong has recently undergone restoration and renovation. Award-winning Corben Architects was called upon to revive the two-storey residence in 2005, receiving an award from the Master Builders Association for its extensive work.
Corben transformed the stairs, kitchen, and added a butler’s pantry. It also outfitted five en-suite bathrooms; a freestanding stone bath in the master suite; a private guest room; and an attic with a media room for children.
The former chauffeur’s quarters, from the Victorian era of horse and carriage, have been converted into a quaint two-storey guesthouse and a double garage, accessed directly from the street.
The entire estate is set within mature grounds, with a sandstone terrace leading down to a lawn and swimming pool at the foreshores of a harbour.
Selling agent Ken Jacobs of Christie’s International Real Estate says: “Properties of this stature and historical significance rarely come to the market, making Berthong a unique opportunity. With its rich history, modern amenities and unprecedented location in one of Sydney’s most prestigious residential enclaves, Berthong is a prime family residence.”
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