Bob Vila of television’s “This Old House” fame and his wife, Diana Barrett, have listed their longtime lakeside home in Palm Beach on Everglades Island for $52.9 million.
The seven-bedroom house at 690 Island Drive entered the multiple listing service Friday.
Built in 1949 but remodeled and expanded by Vila and Barrett, the house has about 7,621 square feet of living space, inside and out. Its interior space totals about 6,300 square feet.
On the east side of Everglades Island, the lot measures four-fifths of an acre with about 175 feet of frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway. The rear of the house looks directly across the Lake Worth Lagoon to the rest of Palm Beach. The property has a dock with a boat lift.
Photos show rooms with large expanses of windows and glass pocket doors that afford views of the pool and lake.
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The Wall Street Journal was the first media outlet to report the listing.
The couple has decided to downsize to another house in Palm Beach, Vila told the Journal, noting that “you get to a point in life where you want to simplify things.”
The house has not been on the market in nearly 50 years, according to its sales listing. It had been in Barrett’s family before she bought it from the estate of her late mother, Gioconda King, for $6.5 million in 2005, property records show. King, who died in 2004, was the widow of investment banker Joseph King and had owned the house since 1975.
Barrett previously taught business and public health at Harvard University. She owns the house in her name and has it listed as her primary home in Palm Beach County property records.
Vila, a former chairman of the Palm Beach Architectural Commission, starred in the home-improvement shows “This Old House” and “Restore America with Bob Vila.”
Vila served several years on the architectural panel, which is generally tasked with approving the look of all new architecture in Palm Beach with the exception of work done at historic properties overseen by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The house on Everglades Island was designed by the late Marion Sims Wyeth, a noted Palm Beach architect. The house’s red-brick exterior is unusual in Palm Beach.
Vila and Barrett expanded the house as part of their major remodeling project in 2006, the sales listing says.
The property has several areas designed for outdoor living, including the expansive rear patio and covered loggia.
“Intentionally designed with a connected layout, the floorplan provides seamless access to a guest wing and staff quarters,” the listing says.
The listing is held by one of Vila and Barrett’s children, real estate agent Chris Vila of PB Realty Advisors. He declined to comment, and his parents could not be immediately reached Friday.
Island Drive runs the length of Everglades Island, an island three-quarters of a mile long in Palm Beach’s Estate Section. The island is connected to the rest of Palm Beach by a short bridge to Island Road.
Because of incorrect information supplied to the Palm Beach Daily News, the credit for an aerial photo accompanying a previous version of this story misidentified the photographer. He is Brian Lee of Atlas Media LLC.
This is a developing story. Check back for any updates.
Darrell Hofheinz is a USA TODAY Network of Florida journalist who writes about Palm Beach real estate in his weekly “Beyond the Hedges” column. He welcomes tips about real estate news on the island. Email [email protected], call 561-820-3831 or tweet @PBDN_Hofheinz. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.