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Hullabaloo


Sunday, March 16, 2014

 
Just a regular guy

by digby

Who are they talking about here?
...[H]is possessions are modest: three houses, one plane, no yachts. He wears loafers and khakis and V-neck sweaters. He often needs a haircut. His glasses haven't changed much in 40 years
Bill Gates. (What? No yachts????) To be fair, they did preface that with "given the scale of his wealth" but even so.

Here's the Seattle "house":


1. The mansion took seven years to build and cost $63M.

2. The swimming pool runs 60-feet-long and includes underwater music system. A locker room has four showers and two baths.

3. The home includes a 2,500 square-foot gym,

4. The dining room is 1,000 square-feet large. Chances are the apartment you're reading this inside isn't even 1,000 square-feet.

5. When a guest arrives, they are given a pin that interacts with sensors in each room in the house. Depending on their preferences, the temperature, music and lighting will change in the house wherever they are.

6. The home is also an "earth-sheltered house," meaning it uses its natural surroundings as walls for temperature and to reduce heat loss.

7. Bill Gates pays $1M a year...on taxes on the house.

8. The house has a trampoline room with a 20-foot ceiling. We're guessing there is a trampoline inside it, but, not confirmed.

9. Located somewhere inside the house is Leonardo da Vinci's 16th-century notebook, the Codex Leicester, which Gates purchased for $30.8 million.

10. There are 84 steps down from the entrance to the ground floor. Of course you can always just take the elevator if you're lazy.

11. The 2,300 square-foot reception hall can seat 150 people for dinner or 200 for a cocktail party.

12. The house contains 24 bathrooms. Twenty-four. Including ten baths. That is a lot of bathrooms, you guys.

13. Speakers are hidden beneath the wallpaper and allow music to follow you from room to room, depending on where you go and who you are.

14. The home comes with a 23-car garage. Twenty-three people can drive to his house, get their own parking spot and then use their own bathroom WITH ONE TO SPARE!

15. Anyone in the house can "call up" a favorite painting or photograph on $80,000 worth of combination TV-computer screens that is run by several $150,000 computer-storage devices.
Hard to reconcile any of  that with the word "modest."

Ok, here's 15 more:
1. The total assessed value of the estate in 2006 was $125M. In 2009, the value was $147.5M. The most expensive area home on the market at the time of this writing...$16.75M. Gates purchased the lot for $2M in 1988.

2. Early in construction of the house, an interior designer didn't like the layout of one section. Sixty cubic yards of concrete were demolished and redone.

3. It was important to Gates that a forty-year-old maple tree adjacent to the driveway was preserved. The tree is monitored electronically 24 hours per day via computer. If it becomes too dry, water is automatically pumped into it.

4. The 17-by-60-foot swimming pool comes with a fossil-motif on the floor and an underwater music system. A locker room includes four showers and two baths.

5. The 2,100 square-foot library includes two secret pivoting bookcases, one of which contains a bar.

6. A quote from The Great Gatsby is engraved on the ceiling of the library, "He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it."

7. The 1,500-square-foot, art deco theater contains twenty plush seats as well as couches. There's also a popcorn machine if you get hungry.

8. The 1-BR, 1-bath guesthouse is 1,900 square-feet was the first structure completed on the estate. Gates wrote most of his book The Road Ahead here.

9. Outside the home is an artificial stream and wetland estuary stocked with salmon and sea-run cutthroat trout.

10. Half a million board feet of lumber was used to build the estate.

11. 300 workers were needed to complete the home. One hundred of them were just electricians.

12. Want to tour the home? It will cost you $35,000. All of that money goes to charity, if that makes you feel better.

13. Every door handle in the house is custom-made and cost $200 each.

14. When the house hosted a party for the National Governors Association in 2004, a temporary security zone was placed around the entire estate, blocking access to large portions of Lake Washington.

15. The estate's sand on the lake bank is not natural to Lake Washington. It is actually delivered via barge annually from a tropical beach in St. Lucia.

Hey, as far as I know, at least he isn't agitating to do away with property taxes. For someone of his wealth that practically makes him a saint.

(That Gatsby quote though. Wow...)



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