One man's trash was another man's mansion. In 1967, Gerald C. O'Brien, a vice president of the Wrecking Corp. of America, cobbled together relics from more than 90 demolition jobs his company oversaw -- including the old Metropolitan Opera House, Grand Central Palace and pavilions built for the 1964-65 World's Fair -- to create this 1-acre estate in Glen Cove. It is now on the market for $1.499 million.
Nearly 80 percent of the home was made with re-purposed material. The huge boulders on the front lawn guarded the Israeli Pavilion during the fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, while the cobblestones on the circular driveway were from the fair's Belgian Village, as well as a National Sugar refinery and a Con Edison plant. In the back is a heated pool with a patio made of slate that once formed stairs at the first home of the Metropolitan Opera Company, at Broadway and 39th Street in Manhattan.
Inside the four-bedroom, 3 ½-bathroom home, a crystal chandelier from the "old Met" hangs in the entrance foyer, and a 1,200-pound sculptured relief that once decorated an upper wall on the exterior facade of the opera house sits above the living room fireplace.
The dining room floors were taken from Saks on 34th Street, and the master suite includes gold-leaf teak panels of dancing girls from the Indonesian Pavilion of the World's Fair. The property also features a two-bedroom guesthouse with a wall of bricks from Brooklyn's Raymond Street Jail and stained glass from Grand Central Palace, once exhibition hall near the train station.
"I enjoy old things, not for their age but for their fine workmanship," O'Brien told The New York Times in 1968.
It is listed with Regina Rogers of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.