Christie’s International Real Estate Offers the Antiguan Retreat of Rachel "Bunny" Mellon

A Home of Casual Elegance on 27 Private Acres at the Mill Reef Club, the Caribbean’s Most Celebrated Private Resort. Robertson Ward’s Visionary Architecture Interweaves Environmental Sensitivity with the Leeward Island Lifestyle.

New York, NY, March 15, 2012 --( A vacation home of one of the Mill Reef Club’s early members, the Mellon family’s island retreat is being offered for sale for the first time ever. For six decades, the home served as a retreat of relaxed sophistication for the Mellon family and close friends on Antigua, an island distinguished for the privacy offered to its celebrity homeowners.

The Mellon estate is ideally situated in a private area at the Mill Reef Club, renowned globally for its exquisite setting and gentile lifestyle with a full and active array of all ocean sports.

Paul Mellon is, of course, renowned for his family’s support of the arts, most notably The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The family commissioned John Russell Pope to build the West Wing and I. M. Pei to build the East wing. Over the years, Paul and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon donated more than 1,000 works of art, many of which are American and European masterpieces.

“As early members of this exclusive resort community, the Mellon’s chose the island’s most desirable building site for their home,” says Jarvis Slade, Chief Operating Officer for Christie’s International Real Estate. “The ocean views are expansive and beyond compare. The home’s architecture underscores Robertson Ward’s driving vision of minimalism and environmental sensitivity to honor the island’s intrinsic natural beauty.”

In 1947, at the close of World War II, Ward envisioned a resort community and club for discrete American industrialists to relax out of the public eye. For his canvas, Ward chose Antigua, long considered one of the loveliest of the Leeward Islands—notable for near-perfect weather, gently caressed by trade winds and offering miles of virgin beaches.

Forty-seven American industrialists, including Paul and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, embraced Ward’s dream and purchased plots of land on 1500 acres including five miles of beach. In addition to their home site, the Mellons purchased additional plots of land, still vacant and equally stunning, which are now also available for purchase.

Ward designed his homes on Antigua with an open and flowing floor plan so as the island’s natural beauty takes center stage and the outdoors is welcomed in. Using a palette of pastel colors and incorporating indigenous materials such as coral stone, Ward’s homes frame endless vistas of impossibly blue water and swaying pink bougainvillea. “His legacy is clearly social and architectural, influenced by a taste for the small scale, simplicity, diversity, and style,” says Stephen S. Lash, Chairman Emeritus of Christie’s and co-author of Mill Reef Style: The Mid-Century Modern Architecture of Robertson Ward. “Like all art and architecture, these values demand stewardship.”

The Mellon estate’s main entrance opens to reveal manicured gardens arrayed around the property, not surprising given Mrs. Mellon’s horticultural gifts. A grand double staircase, overlooking a courtyard and reflecting pool, introduces the main residence. The home abounds with inspired alfresco living spaces creating an indoor-outdoor ambiance perfectly suited to the surroundings.

A lavish double master suite overlooks the Bay and the flower gardens. A library or guest room with views of the reflecting pool provides a quiet retreat, while the great room sets the stage for grand entertaining with a vast terrace looking out onto Half Moon Bay. Opening onto another waterfront terrace, the dining room gives way to a lovely orchid nursery. The wine cellar resides below the kitchen and opens onto a seating area with access to the pool and the garden.

Custom designed to capture the tropical trade winds blowing across the island, the house needs no air conditioning. The structure was built with local stone quarried on the property, and the foot-thick walls give it the look and feel of a beautifully maintained plantation home. A functioning water catchment facility, cisterns, and various administrative outbuildings support the residence.

A separate guest house, a pool, a poolhouse including changing rooms, two greenhouses, vegetable gardens, and a citrus orchard also adorn the property. The expansive grounds gently slope toward the water, affording direct access to one of the most secluded and stunning beaches in the Caribbean—Half Moon Bay.

For more information on this exceptional residence, visit
Christie's International Real Estate
Monique Sofo
+1 505 216 1411