17 apr. 2011

The Story of Grey Gardens...

This post was supposed to be about a new colour passion of mine- The colour Grey. But it ended up being a post about the fascinating yet very tragic story behind a house called 'Grey Gardens' and the two women living in it...

Grey Gardens is mostly known as a 1975 documentary film by Albert and David Maysles. The film depicts the everyday lives of two reclusive socialites, a mother and daughter both named Edith Beale, who lived at Grey Grdens, a decrepit mansion in the wealthy Georgia Pond neighborhood of East Hampton, New York.

Edith 'Big Edie' Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter 'Little Edie' were the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.

The house was designed by Joseph Greenleaf Thorpe in 1897, and purchased in 1923 by Phelan Beale and Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale. After Phelan left his wife, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale lived there for decades more, over 50 years in total for each woman.

The house was called 'Grey Gardens' because of the colour of the dunes, the cement garden walls and the sea mist.

Unfortunately this beautiful home ended up looking like this...

If you like a beautiful song performed by Melissa Etheridge will guide us through the rest of this post...

In the fall of 1971 and throughout 1972 the womens living conditions (their home were infested by fleas, inhabited by numerous cats and raccoons, deprived of running water and filled with garbage) were exposed as the result of an article in the National Enqurier and a cover story in the New York Magazine, after a series of inspections by the Suffolk Country Health Department.

Once a beautiful sun room...
Tragic isn´t it?!

Makes me sooo wonder what happened to these beautiful women. Why, why, why did they end up like this?

'Big Edie' died in 1977 and "Little Edie" sold the house in 1979 to former Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee and his wife.
'Little Edie' died in 2002 at the age of 84...

I´ve found out that HBO quite recently have made a movie about these womens life, starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore as the two Edies. To find out more click here.
I can´t wait to have a look at it. Hopefully it´ll give me and all of you whom feel curious some answers on why things ended up like they did...

Source: Wikipedia


12 kommentarer:

  1. i saw the film and the documentary...fascinating but extremely tragic

  2. Very tragic story, but very interesting too... How are you Tina? Sorry about my absence. I've been trying to get here for days:-). Hope you have a lovely week and i'm also loving greys too. XX

  3. Visst blir man tagen av denna historia, och man undrar, varför, hur....?
    Skulle gärna vilja se filmen, efter att ha läst detta hos dig, blev riktigt intresserad över att se denna historia, sen är jag väldigt förtjust i Jessica Lange som skådespelare, har alltid tyckt om henne....:)
    Nu skall jag bara se om jag hittar filmen....Vet du om man kan spela den från nätet, via datorn...?
    KRAMAR till dig, i vårvädret, Cia:)

  4. Fascinating! What a well-written post!

    How is it possible for the living conditions to deteriorate that much in 50+ years? How sad...

  5. Fascinating and tragic indeed...great post ~

  6. Oh no, this is sad.

    Och det aer alldeles foer likt naagot jag sjaelv gaar igenom med min gamla mor. Beraettar kanske naagon annan gaang.

    On a brighter note! Vaaren har kommit paa allvar till Seattle och paaskharen laer faa ha solskydd paa sig!

    Kram i rymden


  7. O, nej så fruktansvärt. Varför, varför varför??!!Övergivna hus kan verkligen skära i hjärtat. Så mycket historia, så mycket att berätta. Måste spana in den där filmen och även luska fram mer om dessa kvinnor. Mycket intressant inlägg!

    Kramar Jenny

  8. Oh my that was riveting...my son and I read it together and were just amazed at how wild that was. I'm guessing they both suffered from severe depression...how sad, but fascinating at the same time. I wonder at what point did they both just resign to give up. Who threw the first can on the floor and told the other not to worry about it? I'm so interested now that I'll have to read more about them. Thanks so much for sharing! xx Danielle

  9. If you have a chance, also watch the original documentary, I watched it before the Barrymore/Lange movie, fascinating! I've looked into this a bit, not as much as you obviously as you have pictures I hadn't seen before.
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Fascinating story. I saw the documentary years ago and was mesmerized by it. I know the family had various members of the years with various levels of mental illness. I have to imagine that was a large player in how this story ended up the way it did for them and the mansion. In that one photo I find myself wondering if that Life magazine was there or if the photographer added it for dramatic effect to push the Camelot angle.

  11. There was also a musical. The CD's are still available. Ben Bradley lives in the house now. He bought it from Little Edie and promised not to change much.

  12. I saw the documentary several years ago and was intrigued with the story of these two women. I learned Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy had tried to help with the house several times to no avail. They lived in their own little world as long as they could, holding on to fond memories of the past. It was a tragedy not only for these two lovely ladies but also for this beautiful home.