Earlier this year, David Rockefeller Sr. gave away a Jericho Bay island, an Andrew Wyeth painting, and millions of dollars to the Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve and Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Now those charities, among others, stand to benefit from the sale of the late billionaire’s 14 ½-acre Seal Harbor estate, which went on the market today for $19,000,000.
Unprepossessing in its siting and style — particularly when compared with the 99-room, half-timbered mansion David’s parents, John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, owned in the area — the property encompasses a seven-bedroom home (pictured), guesthouse, and detached study where David wrote his memoirs. His wife, Peggy, designed the main house in 1972 with Portuguese tile murals, patterned floors, barn-board interior walls, and floor-to-ceiling ocean views. Outside, grass pathways snake through the heavily wooded site past a granite swimming pool, circular rose garden, and manicured orchard fronted by pink-granite outcroppings.
“I don’t have better times anywhere else than right here,” David said of the island where his family has summered for more than a century. “My hopes are that people with some similar interests in nature and a modest kind of community will continue to come [here].” Now they also have an opportunity to carry on his legacy.