• Allen

    While I was never a huge fan of this house, I just hope that the land isn’t bought by some developer who will cram as many houses as possible into that area.




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    • Marie

      I share your pov.




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  • Laquayva

    Kenny, do you know why it’s being Demolished?? This was one of my favorite homes on “How’d You Get So Rich?” A ot of detail went into this house, It just seems so wasteful…




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    • Kenny Forder

      nope, have no idea. I can’t believe they are actually doing it.




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  • Chavo

    This is sad, liking selling tickets to your own funeral. These folks have to be hard up or just plain wacko

    Someone offer $2M for this before the demolition. That should be enough. No way the land is worth more than that.




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    • Marcus

      Not sure what the Deans have now but when they build the home they add over a Billion dollors. So sad to see this. I love this house and have driven by it many times. I bet none of us will like what they put in its place.




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  • Venom

    This is just awful.
    No home of that kind of magnitude should ever be demolished.
    This is like taking a Ferrari and pouring gasoline all over it and setting it on fire.
    Sacrilegious.
    This is a sad day.




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  • Lane

    wow this is shocking.

    a couple days ago I was reading the paper and I noticed that the home was under contract, didnt expect this though.




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  • David Thompson

    The dining room gives me the willies, I don’t mean from an esoteric design, snobbish sort of way, I mean in a watching the exorcist at midnight kind of way.




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  • Stewie

    To be fair, this is just another new McMansion house. I couldn’t really care less if it gets demolished or not. It has no real history and the world won’t come to a standstill if a noveau riche palace gets torn down and replaced by several smaller homes. What really DOES bug me however is when historical homes in America get torn down or are allowed to become completely dilapitated. I’m talking about homes from the Gilded Age, and those that belonged to the great American dynasties and fortunes. Those homes were built to an AMAZING standard and have tons of history and incredible craftsmanship. They show how America emerged as a superpower, and how rich Americans became the wealthiest people in the entire world and how they subsequently lived. If you want to see a video that will make you weep look at Lynnewood Hall and Whitemarsh Hall on Youtube. Honestly, if I was rich, I would immediately donate a lot of money to help preserve such homes. It’s a national disgrace to let homes like that get demolished or fall into complete disarray. They could be turned into a museum, hotel, school, country club, get re-sold as private estate etc. The list is endless. It’s terribly sad….




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    • Daniel

      I agree completely. I immediately thought of the countless castles that have been destroyed here in South Florida (mainly Palm Beach). Incredible, honest-to-God castles such as Playa Riente, El Mirasol and Casa Bendita were destroyed (around the 1950s and 1960s) and replaced with incredibly ugly and worthless architecturally homes. Only tiny fragments remain, such as a fountain or entry gate.

      La Ronda in Pennsylvania is also another example. I honestly hope that one day there will come a point where people will recognize architecture that is worth saving, and not destroy it simply it has become obsolete or they own the land and have the “right”.

      As far as this home goes…shouldn’t have built something so extravagant in an area that will NEVER become exclusive enough to host a home of that caliber. Bye Bye Dean Gardens.




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      • Grrrowler

        We are on the same wavelength, that’s for sure. My first thought was: “Why weep for this house when countless masterpieces by Richard Morris Hunt and McKim, Meade, and White were torn down without much of a second thought?”

        Stewie, you mentioned Whitemarsh Hall; seeing the pictures of its decay and destruction is far more sad than watching this place go away.

        I think in the coming years we’ll be seeing a lot more of this type of thing happen, especially in places where the super rich don’t necessarily congregate. Trying to sell a massive house in Bel Air or Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is one thing. Trying to sell one of these things in out of the way places (think Champ D’Or) is going to a challenge, if not impossible. They are mistakes from the inception. The old moneyed families still have the cash to spend on huge estates, but they don’t want to live in Alpharetta, GA.




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        • Lane

          I’m gonna have to disagree with you. There are alot of people that want to live in Alpharetta, GA. There is an incredible amount of mega mansions in this area, most of them arent 42,000 sq ft but thats one of the reasons why this house wont sell. Alpharetta is probably the second best place to live in GA, obviously Buckhead is first. But alot of people chose Alpharetta over Buckhead so they wont have to pay city of Atlanta taxes. And comparing Champ D’Or to Deans Gardens is absurd.




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  • Daniel

    Wow. I went back and found some pics of the interior and all I have to say is it’s like Elvira, Meryl Streep in her role from She-Devil, Tony Montana, and Dolly Parton all had a design orgy and came up with this monstrosity. Turn it into a WalMart. There is nothing worth saving. Kitsch galore people!




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    • I totally agree! It will not be missed! However, I cannot say that about the land. I hope the new owner does one of 2 things: 1) Puts up a more appropriate house on the site OR 2) Turns it into a park

      Why would I state this? Because even though I agree the house is something only the owner’s could love, the site of the home with every kind of garden imaginable and the beautiful fountain shooting up from the lake are not to be repeated in another lifetime.

      Did you hear what it costs to run that bloody fountain? It will probably come down too.

      Am I sad about the house? No
      Am I sad if something happens to the gardens? Yes




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      • Daniel

        Let’s not make it a WalMart then…let it be a Target – with a view!

        The gardens are incredibly spectacular, but even it this was turned into a park it would still need to be maintained. Something tells me Alpharetta doesn’t exactly have a blank check when it comes to spending its taxpayers money on maintaining a garden. I can only hope that the trees will be donated to a local garden club or re-used elsewhere.




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      • I saw the “How’d You Get to Be So Rich” segment on Dean Gardens last night. He said the fountain costs $1,000 a day to spurt up into the air like that!




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  • KEV

    Keep the headline handy…in a few years, you can plug either “Champ d’Or or Versailles” in place of Dean Gardens. As far as this house, it was/is a highly detailed and well built estate, but it was done in a style that only the owner wanted. Combine that with the location and you have a house that only one person wants. Therefore, demolition.




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  • CincyRob

    Why couldn’t the home be turned into a bed and breakfast with a private golf course? Tearing it down is a waste of money and time. There are too many uses for homes and buildings to be torn down. It isn’t really an eyesore and the decor can always be updated to modern standards. Unless it was completely necessary to tear it down, it shouldn’t be touched. Americans are becoming less creative. I agree with the fact that historic and landmark homes should be preserved for future generations to help the incoming youth learn about our country and see what isn’t in the history books. In Cincy, the Gamble mansion of Proctor and Gamble is slated to be torn down. Proctor and Gamble is one of the biggest companies in the country. Why wouldn’t they turn it into a museum and showcase things like early P&G products and things that turned it into a major corporation. We are getting stupid and lazy when it comes to american pride. What is happening to our culture? I am embarrassed for us.




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    • Grrrowler

      Running a B&B in a 42,000 square foot house is probably not going to be a profitable venture, especially where this house is. There is nothing to draw visitors to the area so nothing to fill the rooms. As the owner you’d also need to great increase the number of rooms just to break even. If you double the number bedrooms in the house and charge $350/night (not unusual for a B&B) you’d have to fill them every single night for almost 7 years just to break even on the purchase price. When you add in that you’d need significant staff to run the place and take care of 32 guests -not to mention the costs of cleaning, landscaping, maintenance, and utilities -there’s just no way to make money on a B&B in a house like this.

      These types of houses, no matter how well built they are, are white elephants due to their size, style, and location.




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  • Mike F

    Why demolish it? There are many poor people in Georgia, give it to them. Or sell it for as much as possible, and let it stand. Do not demolish it!




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  • MCal

    I can’t believe it. This was my all time favourite house and to just demolish it? Such a shame.




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  • Barney

    My FRIENDS and Fellow Architecture/Interior Design/and Mansion FREAKS!……..

    I could not possibly agree more with all the other regulars about the TRUE architectural MASTERPIECES in this country that have been unbelievably torn down. BUT, “welcome to America”! Where history is a BAD thing! Also while I understand everyone’s very strong reaction to this news, both good and bad (I happen to think it’s good…..the house is a horrendously over-decorated, BAD, BERSERK carnival on the inside, and only a little better on the outside) the thing we ALL would be better off remembering is this………

    What REALLY doomed this house (and ALL others in the same predicament) is GOOD OLE’ FASHIONED, GREEN-EYED, TOOTH-GNASHING
    GREED, RUN AMOK.
    Think about it…..if Larry Dean had (gasp!) actually built a SUSTAINABLE (again, GASP!)and realistically sized (oh let’s say, just for arguments’ sake……a MERE TWENTY-ONE-THOUSAND square feet) TRUE home, instead of a psychedelic shopping mall masquerading as a home, THEN he MIGHT (repeat MIGHT) ACTUALLY have been able to afford the maintenance, and live there ’til then end of his days, or even more incomprehensibly, ACTUALLY SELL the place. Don’t kid yourselves…..if he could still easily afford to live there, he WOULD NOT be tearing the monstrosity down. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I truly believe that this place was NEVER actually fully utilized EVER. I’ll go out further on that limb & say that I’ll bet that 1/3 to 1/2 of the HOTR readers don’t really have the ability to comprehend just how ABSURDLY GARGANTUAN 42,000 square feet is!

    With that FIRMLY in mind (and hopefully permanetly, too!), I’m sure there’s some phenomenally magnificent quote that exists from one of the Human Races most enlightened philosophers, but it’ll just have to suffice to say (however clumsily, sorry)………”Palaces in worship of greed & materialism FADE……while SH*TTY economies and real estate markets are FOREVER!”




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    • Venom

      I have been inside of Art Van’s house and trust me I know, it is freaking ridiculous. lol
      I remember years and years ago I went into my first 15,000 + square foot home on the main floors, and I damn near got lost. It had rooms that opened into rooms that opened into other rooms and had a winter fur coat closet that had to be about 300 square feet.




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  • NightMoves

    It will probably end up being 80-100 .5-.75 acre homes.




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  • george

    About 15 or 20 years ago, I was talking to a business associate who lived in the Atlanta area. Over dinner and drinks, talk turned to of all things, Dean Manor. I expressed the opinion that whoever designed the house must be on some serious drugs. He said the Deans were very proud of it as it had been designed by their SON. I wonder, if something happened to their son, or their relationship with him, that leveling the house might have something to do with it.




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  • Chance

    Tear it down, I really could care less about this “estate”.




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  • KEV

    I




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  • KEV

    Whoops hit submit just a bit too fast :)…I think that when this place was designed, they had great estates of America in mind. Looking at the grounds, they did a great job of echoing a smaller version of Biltmore (obviously much more modern and smaller) or other homes with acreage, gardens, etc….Where they failed was on the home, which escapes any real design–it’s a multi-personality conglomeration of ten different things. As I said above, very interesting, very well built, but just too different for anyone else to really want, at least in this area of the country, which, while very nice and maybe better than Buckhead, is still not in Beverly Hills, Palm Beach, or any other destinations of the super rich.




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  • Chavo

    I guess this is the Dean’s idea of a practical joke.

    Sick bastard.

    House has been sold.
    http://atlanta.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2010/08/02/daily33.html




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    • Kenny Forder

      The company/person who bought it is going to demolish it, not Dean.




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  • Karl

    Does anyone know why he decided to sell his estate? I figure if he put so much time into building his dream home, the only reason to sell would be financial problems.




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  • Grrrowler

    The appraised value in the listing of $35 million is WAY off by the way. The 2009 tax assessment appraisal was for $11,600,700. I’d be surprised if a real estate assessment using comps would come anywhere near $35 million either. County records also show the main house to be 29,906 square feet instead of 42,000 so maybe that accounts for the discrepancy.




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  • Scott Goswick

    Sad to see this beautiful house go. I know a lot of people don’t like the house decoration but all that could be changed within a two week period with new decorating ideas. I always say that it is much better to see a nice house of this size setting on 60 acres than 1000 rusty mobile homes full of non-american nontax-payers who each have 15 children born free of charge at local hospitals, who are all on Wic, Welfare and Food Stamps. The person who would live in this size of property would mostly have grown children, pay high porperty taxes and not be a burden to taxpayers by having to build 5 or 6 schools to house 15000 tax burden kids who only take from Government with not giving in return. As far as Mr. Dean is concerned when you sell a home the next land owner, as we see happening with this sale, can do what they want with the property. When the deal is final, the new owner still has the right to do what they want with their property. My hat is off to Mr. Dean for keeping this property a non-tax burden to the community for all these past 30 years. I’m sure that Mr. Dean has never been told he needs to cut his grass of he needs to move old rusty non-running cars from his property, or that he needs to clean up loose trash across his property, or that he needs to keep his 100’s of dangerous dogs on a leash. I’m sure the next new owners want be a friend to the community as Mr. Dean has been. Mr. Dean has loaned out his house to hundreds of Great Events to help many non-profit charity functions. In the next 20 years we will see many places of this size destroyed, which is such a shame. Thanks to Dean Gardens for many Great years of beauty for one neighborhood. Mark my word this place will never be the same once the new owners take over. As they say, “There goes the neighborhood”. Good-bye Deans Gardens with fond memories. Scott




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  • janos

    I cannot believe a house this gorgous is going to be completely torn down.. my my… this is probably the most beautiful and most expensive custom made house in all of Georgia… maybe even the south eastern part of the USA.




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  • Grrrowler

    The Real Estalker is reporting that Dean Gardens was bought by Tyler Perry for $7.6 million and is tearing down the house to built his own huge house on the property.




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  • Delmarco Borders

    I’m glad they are mowing it down. Mr. Dean molested his own daughter there.
    Mow it down for that reason. He’s like Woody Allen.




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  • Invish

    Has anyone actually been to the house before calling it tacky? I’ve been in it once for a short period of time (reception or something). The foyer is actually very impressive.




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  • Delmarco, I think you have your story wrong. Mr. Dean is not a pedophile. I am not saying that he is perfect, but that is way off base. He is a very successful entrepreneur who spent years dreaming of the house. It was a major endeavor that turned out to be a two-edged sword for him and his family. Although some of the architectural components are way out there, it is still a grand and awesome creation that was intended to be a legacy. I am saddened that this dream is coming to an end.




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  • Elli D.

    When I saw this building on “How’d You Get So Rich?” I thought to myself that the architects did a really extraordinary job designing this house. I like the castle look of this mansion and I am quite disappointed that they plan to demolish the whole building.




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  • deanna

    I think the house is beautiful. It’s a shame that it has to go. Mr. Dean is one of the most sincere, nicest people I have ever met!




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  • Lori

    I can see “Free Speech” is alive and well! I am appalled at some of the horribly cruel postings here and am extremely saddened to hear of the plans for Dean Gardens. As a member of Mr. Dean’s extended family, my children and I had the priviledge to spend a few weeks during the summers at Dean Gardens. What fun we had, always selecting a different bedroom to sleep in! Multiple family gatherings were held in the mansion. We did everything from eat cereal for breakfast at the kitchen table every morning to slip sliding down one of the hills on a sheet of plastic covered in water. As each year passed we created a lifetime of memories, dancing to the jutebox in the 50’s soda shop-game room, having a massage in the Morrocan room, playing pool and going swimming. We drove through the beautiful gardens in golf carts, and would race across the golf course after dinner as the puppies ran behind us, trying to catch up. In the end, Mr. Dean built “his” dream house. His son, Christopher, created an incredible experience with his design. Walking through the halls and in each room was like taking a trip around the world. It is heartbreaking to realize the journey has ended and the dream is over. My best wishes go out to Larry and his family, along with my sincerest gratitude to him for allowing my family the most awesome experience of visiting his “dream.”




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