See Inside One of London's Most Expensive Private Residences
Originally built in 1769, Doughty House has become one of London's most prized landmarked buildings.
British industrialist Francis Cook purchased it in 1849, when he was the third-richest man in Europe and owner of England's largest clothing manufacturer, and began outfitting it with priceless paintings and classical sculptures.
The house is being offered for £100 million, or about $131 million.
By 1876, he had amassed more than 510 major works by artists such Rubens and Rembrandt, eventually adding a two-story, 125-foot-long gallery—inspired by one at Buckingham Palace—to display his beloved collection.
Once the renovation is complete, the home will be one of the largest and most expensive in London.
After changing hands a few times, the home fell into decline around the middle of the 20th century, and in 1948 Sir Francis Ferdinand Cook, 4th Baronet & Viscount, moved to Jersey, England with the 30 remaining works in the family's art collection. He sold Doughty House to a developer the following year.
Developer K10 aims to restore the house to its former glory.
Converting the massive home into luxury apartments or a hotel was considered, but a lack of funding forced that developer to sell it to another owner in 1953. After decades of neglect, ultra-prime developer K10 Group purchased Doughty House and is embarking on a multi-year renovation project to restore the Grade II-listed home to its former glamour by late 2019.
The Winter Garden Conservatory is part of the major restoration.
Under the current plans, the main house will be refurbished by 120 contractors working daily for 18 months. Once complete, the 38,000-square-foot mansion will include eight bedrooms, 48 chandeliers, 12 fireplaces, an 18-seat cinema, a dining room for 200, and 20 different types of rare marble and stone.
The 125-foot-long gallery once held works by Rembrandt and Rubens.
For £100 million, or about $131 million, K10 Group CEO Kam Babaee says "the buyer is acquiring an important piece of British history and a world-class newly refurbished stately home."
And the sooner someone snaps it up, "they will have the advantage of working with us over the next two years to totally customize and refine the current plans and design scheme to their personal tastes and lifestyle," Babaee adds. "It’s a unique opportunity to acquire what is arguably the most important private palace ever created in London."
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.