Whimsical Head of the Harbor 'Camelot' just $7.5 million
How can one describe the home of Arthur Krantz?
Las Vegas? Certainly that's in line with the gaming tables and slot machines in the lower-level casino of his Head of the Harbor home. Then again, the Asian statues scattered throughout give it a gallery feel. Maybe it's more of an arcade, reflected by the video games in another section. You might call it an armory, what with the suit of armor, swords and helmets in the movie room. Perhaps the animal sculptures throughout the grounds peg it as a theme park.
Maybe it's best to use the term Krantz chooses himself.
"It's whimsical," he says.
There are unusual homes on Long Island. There are homes with eclectic features, extravagant qualities and personal indulgences. Then, there is the home of Arthur Krantz, which is listed for $7.5 million.
Actually, Krantz does have an unofficial name for his home. It has to do with his New York-based charity, We Care For Kids Inc., which helps families of children with special health care needs -- and a benefit he hosts every year. During the festivities, he dons a robe and a crown to greet guests.
"My accountant, Vince, said to me one day, you've been King Arthur forever," says Krantz, who is divorced with kids and grandkids, who have the run of the castle when they visit. "Why don't you call the house Camelot?"
A bulky man with sweptback silver hair and a roguish sense of humor, Krantz, 69, is the founder of a St. James-based remanufacturing company, which disassembles and refurbishes returned consumer goods, then gets them back to the marketplace through the Web or the original retailer.
He first saw the Postmodern that became his quirky castle back in 2004 and bought it on the spot. From that point on, workmen became a constant presence as he transformed room after room into themed environments.
Everything in the home is for sale except for a few personal items, says Krantz, who is downsizing to a smaller residence in Florida.
While strolling the three-acre grounds with their sweeping view of Stony Brook Harbor, Krantz points out things like his "anatomically correct" chimp reclining in a tree and a nearby lurking gorilla. At other spots are a rhino, hippo and a small dinosaur. Giraffes graze in one area and, farther on, diminutive elephants lift their trunks toward the leaves of a tree. The stone and wood sculptures stay with the house.
He asks visitors entering the 13,000-square-foot home to remove their shoes in the foyer, which is dominated by a sculpture of a kneeling Chinese warrior, one of many Asian figures collected over the years. In the dining room, a self-playing grand piano does a wistful rendition of Debussy's "Clair de Lune," as if being performed by a ghost.
Leading the way to the "nautical" bedroom, Krantz points out the ship models, maps and ornate bed coverings taken from a yacht. The women's walk-in closet in the master bedroom has a center section with so many shelves and drawers that he refers to it as "Macy's." The indoor pool is surrounded by plants, including a banana tree. Three of 5 1/2 bathrooms have chandeliers.
He built what he wanted, Krantz explains, including things like a closet for doggy clothes and a DJ booth for parties downstairs. "I know it's over-the-top," he says, "but I love every inch of it."
Then, he heads for the lower level, adding, "This is where the fun starts."
Here, visitors are greeted by a recording of bird calls and jungle sounds. To the side of the fully stocked bar is a 2,000-bottle wine cellar with a spiral staircase repurposed as a wine rack. Farther on, he stops at an African diorama that was built at his behest depicting an entire village. "It has to do with ecology," Krantz says. "With people and animals living side by side in a habitat."
From there, he stops in front of a bank of working slot machines with quarters in all the payout trays so you can play as much as you want. Krantz put in a coin and laughed as he drew a winning poker hand.
Afterward, he moves on to a sports-viewing room with padded seating booths facing two large-screen TVs. Nearby, a lit sign proclaims "Papa's Ice Cream Parlor," equipped with an ice cream freezer and soda fountains. Another overhead sign leads to an arcade filled with things like racing car games and Pac-Man consoles. The riding bull, he explains, is kept unplugged because it's too dangerous for children.
Krantz started out as a liquidator selling the assets of failing companies. This evolved into his remanufacturing business, PRC Industries, that repairs everything from coffee pots to vacuum cleaners. Through the years, his salvage company contacts have alerted him to items he was in the market for -- such as the slot machines and arcade equipment. The life-size Buddha sculpture in the great room, for example, came from a sunken ship and had water-damage cracks on its body. Krantz had it dried and repaired, and he placed it in the center of a rotating dais, where it presides serenely.
One of his favorite rooms is his "Camelot Theater," with decorations purchased from a confiscated business and painstakingly arranged to create an armory theme. The handles on the 100-year-old doors, he points out, are a pair of medieval broadswords.
Although Krantz claims not to be especially philosophical, his home does reflect a personal creed. He is not pleased by society's penchant for waste, both when it comes to consumer goods or its exploitation of nature. "You have to have respect for things," he says. "If everyone was really into recycling, this would be a different country."
What will the king do once he sells his castle? Krantz purchased a condo in Boca Raton, Florida, a year ago and once again is busy turning it into his own personal fiefdom, redecorating it to suit his personal whims, he says.
"They call it Camelot South," he says.
HEAD OF HARBOR $7,500,000
LISTING HISTORY. Newly listed a month ago; it was listed briefly in 2011
WHAT'S FOR SALE. This is a six-bedroom, 5 1/2-bath Postmodern on two acres with more than 200 feet of water frontage on Stony Brook Harbor. Within its 19 rooms is a grand foyer, a formal dining room, an eat-in kitchen, a ground-level game room, a connected den and family great room, an office, attic and an attached three-car garage with a granite floor.
The home has eight fireplaces and several laundry rooms, including one with dry cleaning facilities. The master suite has a spa and a Juliet balcony overlooking the great room. There is an indoor and an outdoor pool, each with a Jacuzzi. It has an 11-seat movie theater, a library and a guest suite. In the game room is a temperature-controlled wine cellar, a full gym, a billiards table, an African diorama, a casino with working slot machines, a full bar, an ice-cream parlor and an arcade filled with electronic games.
Outside is a Japanese garden. The back deck contains a complete outdoor kitchen and barbecue facilities. The home has beach rights, deeded dock rights and a 100-foot dock. It is on a cul-de-sac.
LISTING AGENT. Fern Karhu (516-714-4460) and Mike Costa (516-647-2919), Realty Connect USA LLC