The planning for the house neighboring the Amagani resort in Jackson Hole left nothing to chance.
That’s clear when you look at the oversize Edward Curtis photos that decorate the interior.
The owner didn’t show up with his pictures and look for places to drive a nail in the wall to hang them. No, each of the expensive pieces of photo art hangs in a shallow alcove set into the rock walls, and tiny hidden lights above and below the prints shine at just the perfect intensity to show the work without any glare. That’s looking ahead.
The attention to detail carries over into nearly every angle in the 12,964-square-foot house, which went on the market within the past few weeks for $11.75 million.
“The house speaks for itself,” said Ted Dawson, a broker at Spring Creek Ranch Realty, which has the listing on the house. “The architectural creativity, the grandness and scale of the house truly speaks to a European-style connoisseur, with its vaulted ceilings, the windows all around, the open spacing. … And it’s one of the most solid-built homes you find in the valley.
“The key factor is great architecture,” Dawson said. “People come here for what nature has, and the architects tried to work to bring that beauty in, and the home fits that to a T. … Everything about the home invites you in.”
The house, imposing as it is, also comes with a story: Even before the Great Recession the man building it for his vacation home fell on hard times and eventually had to give it up to be completed by others. From start to finish the house took nearly six years to complete (see sidebar).
The trouble, though, didn’t hurt the final product.
Designed under the strict guidelines imposed by Amangani — the house’s neighbor on one side — the house is designed and sited into the hillside to show a low profile on East Gros Ventre Butte, and though impressive from its downhill side it’s nearly invisible from the front street side. Again in keeping with Amangani rules, the house is stone and wood.
The 1.41-acre lot doesn’t have the Teton vista that brings a premium, but its views are nevertheless striking: From the big decks of the house a glance to your right, the north, reveals the slopes of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and as you turn to your left you see over neighboring West Gros Ventre Butte to the Teton Range to Mount Glory and far to the south. Cattle of Spring Creek Ranch graze below.
“That drop-dead view to the southern ranges is one of the most impactful views you will find,” Dawson said.
Inside, what it lacks in hominess it makes up for in bold style. The interior, like the outside, is stone and fine woodwork. It has heated stone floors and more square footage in glass than the footprint of most houses. Though some might call is a bit stark, it’s also bright. On the west side there are two decks, about 2,600 square feet total, overlooking Spring Gulch. From the house down to the road is mostly homeowner association open space.
Inside there are “fantastic entertaining areas which are separated from the private areas,” Dawson said.
The neighboring houses in the Homes at Amangani are mostly out of sight, and also have the Amangani look. Of 22 lots, one is on the market, two others were bought by a homeowner to protect his view and two more are owned by an investor.
The house has been lightly used.
“No one has ever really lived there,” Dawson said. “The current owner is there about four weeks a year” with rentals only “once or twice” in the time he has owned it.
At $11.75 million it’s not cheap, but Dawson thinks it’s a good price. The house changed hands in a bankruptcy for $6.5 million in 2011, a price Dawson said was a deal even during the Great Recession.
The current owner “bought it in bankruptcy court, and he hit the timing spectacularly,” Dawson said. Other people were prepared to offer more but, Dawson said, “he was right there and had the cash in hand.”
And, Dawson said, “how it was purchased is not relevant to the value.
“When you’re talking about unique homes and settings this really fits the bill,” he said. “And especially in the higher market, people are willing to pay for quality and uniqueness. … The house can never be replicated anywhere near this price.”