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Leave it to Martha Stewart to have the second home to end all first homes — and to give it a regal name, too.
“Skylands,” Stewart’s fabulous vacation home, was originally built for the family of automotive executive Edsel Ford in 1925 as a summer home. It’s featured in the July issue of Architectural Digest, which hits stands Tuesday in New York and Los Angeles.
The 12-bedroom, three-story house was designed by architect Duncan Candler and sits on 63 acres overlooking Seal Harbor on Maine’s Mount Desert Island. Built on a hill, it’s accessible by a steep, winding road that follows the coastline and ends at a pink-granite gravel drive on the edge of Acadia National Park.
Stewart bought the house in 1997 with nearly everything original included, including the Fords’ silver, glassware, china, and linens, as well as the kitchen’s vintage Frigidaire refrigerators.
“I didn’t have to buy a plate,” she said. “Although I’ve certainly added my fair share.”
She went on to call the home her “favorite place.”
It’s no surprise that Stewart, with her famous green thumb and earthy sensibilities, has chosen to surround the home with dense foliage, including kiwi vines, ferns, maples, spruces and fir trees, all of which hug the main structure. The home itself has essentially become part of the property’s grassy lawn, rather than simply sitting atop it.
Stewart spends part of July and August at the house, as well as long weekends throughout the year, and she's been known to host events there for 100 or more people.
“I look at myself as the caretaker of an American treasure,” she explained.