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Hamptons Life

Jul 13, 2017 1:33 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Seriously: John McEnroe Sells Southampton Home for $11.25 Million

11 Squabble Lane, Southampton COURTESY SOTHEBY'S
Jul 13, 2017 1:33 PM

John McEnroe didn’t find much “love” for his Squabble Lane, Southampton, manse at $14.5 million, and apparently potential purchasers judged a price drop to $12.5 million out of bounds. It’s not necessarily his “fault,” though, as many buyers have been on the sidelines, waiting to pounce on lower asks. Finally, though, Johnny Mac found someone who truly can be serious, as the property has just been purchased for $11,250,000. One would think all by itself the tennis court where the Hall of Famer practiced during downtime from broadcasting duties would be worth several million.

The transaction’s timing is quite good, as we’re in the midst of the Wimbledon tournament in England. Some of us recall the 1980 match between the longtime rivals Mr. McEnroe and Bjorn Borg as one of the greatest tennis contests in the history of the sport.

The house just sold by Mr. McEnroe and his rock singer wife Patty Smyth is described as a “grand traditional” on 2.17 acres with deeded beach rights. The dwelling is 7,500 square feet featuring 8 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms as well as a living room with a vaulted ceiling, balconies, a library, office, den and sunroom. Outside, in addition to the Har-tru tennis court, there is a Gunite pool surrounded by “lush, rolling green lawns, color-infused specimen trees, shrubs, and gardens.” Sure sounds like a nice setting to practice your serve and volley.

Aside from its obvious attributes, the property has the distinction of once being part of the Murray-McDonnell compound. The story of these two families can be found in the 1973 book by Stephen Birmingham titled “Real Lace: America’s Irish Rich” and four years later by “Golden Clan: The Murrays, the McDonnells & the Irish American Aristocracy,” by John Corry. The clan chronicled were the children and grandchildren of the inventor Thomas Murray, a colleague of Thomas Edison. These two generations helped form the first Southampton summer colony in the late 1800s. Their celebrity increased when one McDonnell daughter married Henry Ford II and a Murray married Alfred Vanderbilt, and the activities of the members of the intertwined families were covered by the press in New York and in the Hamptons. At one time, the collection of Murray and McDonnell estates in Southampton totaled 300 acres.

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