Here is a story we have been covering for years now. We are certain where the story will end, we just hope that it doesn’t end with a demolition permit. The home and setting is beautiful and we would hate to see the property turned into another suburb of all-alike houses. We have published many images of ‘Asherwood’ (as the late Mel Simon named it), after it was reconstructed when a fire took it down as they were first building it. But onto the story….
The Great American Songbook Foundation will seek a buyer for the lavish Asherwood Estate in Carmel, which philanthropist Bren Simon donated to the organization in January.
The sale would free the foundation from the 107-acre property’s estimated maintenance costs of $1 million per year.
The sale revenues would also stabilize the financial future of the Songbook Foundation, which is seeking a permanent home for its massive collection of memorabilia, sheet music, recordings and personal items, according to foundation Executive Director Chris Lewis.
That inventory is now kept at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, and the organization is seeking to build a standalone museum, preferably in Carmel but possibly anywhere in the country.
The museum, which would be highly interactive, would be a money-maker for the museum. Foundation spokesman Scott Hall said the board explored whether the museum could be at the mansion but determined that converting the 50,000-square-foot building to that use would be impractical.
Lewis said Simon gift did not stipulate that the property house the museum.
“We have said from the beginning that the possibilities for this site are endless, and that is still true,” Lewis said. “For our organization, the path most consistent with our mission and the intent of Mrs. Simon’s gift is to maximize the value of the property and leave its future uses to other businesses or organizations that specialize in those fields.”
See aerial and interior images at Billionaire Addresses
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Carmel’s Asherwood Estate going up for sale less than a year after Bren Simon donated it