British insurance mogul Peter Wood – founder of Direct Line and Esure – has purchased the Kluge Estate in Palm Beach, Florida, from Columbia University for a cool $39 million, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The late John Kluge, who made his fortune in broadcasting, created the impressive compound in the 1990s by combining four separate properties. Today the estate sits on four acres of oceanfront land and consists of two main residences as well as three smaller guest houses. It has 150 feet of beach front access.
One of the primary residences is the 5,500-square-foot Ocean House, designed in 1921 by architect Addison Mizner. The building has views of both the tropical gardens and the ocean, and features a carved-stone fireplace, Cuban-tile floors, an informal loggia, a library, a formal dining room, three bedrooms and a pool.
Kluge himself used the 12,700-square-foot, British Colonial style Garden House as his home. The Garden House has a casino and an informal living room with classic Palladian-inspired doors and windows, along with a formal living room, library, dining room and a reflecting pool.
When he died in September 2010 at the age of 95, Kluge’s will transferred ownership of the estate to his alma mater, Columbia University, and as per Kluge’s wishes – proceeds from the sale will go towards financial aid for students at the school.