The yin and yang of it all
By CASSANDRA MICKENS / Associate Editor
Like any place, Shelby County has its fair share of extremes.
For example, you got your rural farmlands and your not-so-run-of-the-mill $13.9 million “Versailles-style” mansion that’s listed as the largest home on the market in the U.S. It’s the latest display of Shelby County’s yin and yang — small town charm and urban sophistication, simplicity and extravagance.
Last week, the website Curbed.com cited the 62,000-square-foot, 15-bedroom, 22-bathroom mansion in North Shelby County’s Shoal Creek community as 6,000 square feet larger than basketball legend Michael Jordan’s Highland Park, Ill., home, which topped the recent index of largest homes listed in America. Let that sink in for a moment.
A browse through photos of the mansion at 7 Montagel Way on the website hurwitzjamesco.com is a wee bit ostentatious for my taste, but no less impressive, with its hand-painted dome ceilings, limestone, marble and maple floors, a 2,000-bottle wine cellar and guitar garden. One of the rooms is a dead ringer for the ballroom in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” where Belle and Beast share their first dance to the tune of “Tale As Old As Time.” I’m not kidding.
Former MedPartners CEO Larry House, once a protege of former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, owns the mansion. House put the mansion on the market in 2003 and reportedly spent $26 million building the French chateau-style showplace.
The “guitar house” as some call it has received its share of attention over the years, but was thrust back into the spotlight last week thanks to its latest designation. The story caught on in social media, with most commenters admiring the mansion’s opulent beauty. Other commenters, however, had their own ideas for the mansion’s future, i.e. repurposing it as an orphanage or going in as a group to afford a down payment.
As for myself, I think the mansion is the perfect spot for the Reporter’s annual Christmas party. A girl can dream, can’t she?
Cassandra Mickens is associate editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 13 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is @CassMickens on Twitter.