Genius slept here! Einstein's vacation home up for sale
The Nobel Prize winner had great taste in summer homes. Perhaps you'd like to take a look.
Albert Einstein adored summertime. It's when he stayed at one of several different vacation homes on Long Island and in upstate New York. Stories abound about how he loved to sail (although he wasn't much of a swimmer). One man recalls Einstein buying sandals from his dad's general store. Another had this to say to the New York Times about the vacationing genius: "My Aunt Martha had his same hairstyle, and once I saw them pass each other while walking on the beach. They looked up and stared at each other like they were amazed to see the same hairdo."
If all of this sounds quaint to you, then perhaps we can interest you in a piece of history. One of the homes where Einstein vacationed is now up for sale. The four-bedroom, three-bath home in Setauket, N.Y. can be yours for $679,000. The home was last on the market in the spring of 2002 when it sold for $592,500.
And while it's been 85 years since the summer of 1941 when the beloved icon stayed there, his popularity hasn't seemed to wane much. His theory of relativity is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary – not to mention he's cropping up all over pop culture, paintings, comic books, TV shows and even cakes.
"Einstein's face is the most recognizable face worldwide," Hanoch Gutfreund, the director of the Albert Einstein Archives at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, told From The Grapevine. "The interest in Einstein does not fade into history," Gutfreund told us by phone from Israel. "If one can say anything about this, the interest in Einstein increases with time. It's greater now."
Alexia Poulos of Douglas Elliman Real Estate is the listing agent on the house. "Einstein has vacationed in various spots here on Long Island. So we've always known that he had been in the area," she told From The Grapevine. "So I was kind of elated to know that I was listing a place where he had stayed."
The home, at 33 Intervale Road on the north shore of Long Island, is located in a secluded community called Old Field South. "You don't see your neighbors," Poulos explained. "It's extremely private and serene."
Built in 1931, the home is near the West Meadow Wetlands Preserve and the West Meadow Beach. "I think it's a great spot for Einstein to have spent the days on the beach and come back to the house to find some quietness," Poulos told us.
Einstein stayed at the home with his sister Maja and local artist Marjorie Bishop, whose friends owned the house. "I'm sure the only reason he came was the lure of the boat," Bishop told The Village Times, a local newspaper, years later. "We would go on day trips around here, and then to the beach for a picnic lunch. When it came time to beach the boat, he'd look at the wind and clouds, mutter something about velocity and bring her in. When we landed, we sort of tumbled out."
Bishop recounted another story of that fateful summer to the New York Times: ''In the evening when we returned from sailing, he wanted to see the sunset at the end of our road,'' she said. ''We walked to the harbor where a sign said: No Parking – Keep Off the Grass. Einstein wanted to sit on the grass, so we did. Up came the local cop. He pointed straight at Einstein and said: 'Can't you read?'"
This isn't the first home with a celebrity connection that Poulos has listed. Awhile back, she sold a home where '70s-era rocker Stevie Nicks used to party. That home was sold to a publicist for a record company.
So who might purchase this home with the inimitable Einstein connection?
Stony Brook University, which has a large physics and mathematics department, is only a few minutes away from the property. The home is also near the Brookhaven National Laboratory, where 3,000 researchers study physics, chemistry and biology. So it's quite possible that another scientist may soon occupy the house.
That is, unless you get there first.
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Related Topics: Albert Einstein