A home with its own observatory for staring at the stars is now available in Asheville, NC.
Built in 1926, the enormous home on Midland Drive also comes with a rich history. It’s only had four owners over the past century and is now available to a new stargazer for $5.87 million.
The current owners purchased the house in 2002, and brought it into the 21st century.
“These folks bought it, took it back to the studs, and extensively renovated the home,” says the listing agent, Marilyn Wright. “When you first step in the front door, there’s this amazing staircase in front of you. But what pulls you in is that you can see all the way up to the second level, and see the woodwork and the stained glass. It takes a bit just to soak it all in.”
There’s a lot to take in. The Georgian-style home measures in at 17,569 square feet, filled with a ton of character, quality craftsmanship, and modern conveniences. Those updates didn’t compromise the home’s original floor plan or detract from its vintage beauty.
“A lot of the mantles are French 19th century, and each bedroom has an en suite bathroom and TVs hidden behind artwork,” Wright explains.
There are also several stained-glass windows throughout the six-bedroom house. The owners scoured the globe to fill the home with intriguing decor.
“I think it was the thrill of the hunt. As you go through the fireplaces throughout the house, they’re from all over the world and historic,” she says. “They found the perfect features for their home, and it was a labor of love—you can see it. I see a lot of high-end homes, but the attention to detail here exceeds what is typical.”
A particular highlight is the indoor pool area.
“It’s magnificent. The detail work in the ceiling above exceeds any hotel or spa that I’ve seen in our region, let alone at a personal residence,” Wright says.
In addition to the pool and spa, there’s also a fully outfitted 1920s-era ice cream bar in the natatorium.
“It’s something they loved and enjoyed. They wanted their grandkids to have that experience—it’s fully functioning, and it’s beautiful,” Wright explains.
But up a flight of spiral wooden stairs leading from the home theater is what makes this home truly unique.
“There is a domed, electronically operated observatory that has a 360-degree rotation, with an 8-foot brass, mid-19th century English telescope,” Wright says. “I’ve never seen that in a house. You open it up, you gaze at the stars and gaze at the moon. It’s stunning from the outside as well, and something I’ve never seen in a house.”
Outside, there’s an outdoor kitchen with seating for 12 and a large patio area that can seat 32.
If you’re not transfixed by a glimpse of the galaxy, there’s a game room and the theater room for 15—outfitted with surround sound and seats that can rumble along with the movie.
The garage is also unique, with mahogany storage cabinets and room for six cars in climate-controlled comfort. The agent said the space is an extension of the house, rather than an afterthought strictly for automobile storage. The owner’s office is in there.
“He sells exotic cars, so it’s an important room in their house, because he works there and has clients there,” Wright explains.
Away from the eye-popping amenities, there are 10 full bathrooms, five bathrooms, and multiple kitchens.
The main kitchen sits on the main level. Upstairs, there is a bar and a kitchenette in the theater, with another kitchen on the lower level with the guest bedrooms.
“No one ever has to leave their level unless they’re just having a meal together,” Wright explains
A wine cellar, exercise room, steam room, sauna, and two dressing rooms round out the offerings on the lower level.
Wright says the perfect buyer is someone who desires a modern home in a classic package.
“There are 61 antique brass and bronze chandeliers from the Victorian period in the house,” she says. “They thought of every detail that you would see and think of for that time period, but it’s all up to date.”
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