A Lattingtown property that was once part of the 37-acre estate of Soong Mei-ling, the wife of Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, is on the market for $11.8 million.
Soon, known as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, moved from China to the United States in 1975, and settled in the Lattingtown estate that her family purchased in 1949. In 1998, the estate, known as Hillcrest, was sold to the Stillman Organization, a Manhattan-based development company that later subdivided the property, renovated the original mansion and built two other homes, one of which was also recently listed for sale.
The 12.8-acre property that's for sale is on the part of the estate where Madame Chiang's carriage house and bamboo garden remain, says Jason Friedman of Laffey Fine Homes, who is co-listing the property with his mother, Rudi Friedman. There is also a par-3 golf hole and a heated pool.
The nine-bedroom home, built in 2002, features a solid stone turret with a winding staircase to the second floor, topped with a large twisted wooden dome.
Madame Chiang, who was educated in the United States and graduated from Wellesley, became the second woman to address both houses of Congress, rallying support for her husband's army. She was revered by the people of China. In 1998, tens of thousands of people of Chinese descent came to the estate, where an auction of some of her belongings was held.
"People still come here now to pay their respects," Jason Friedman says.
Madame Chiang died in 2003 in Manhattan at the age of 105.