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Intelligencer: May 16-23

Martha's house gets the shaft. Plus, Warner Music gets Gotti, Ivy League beauty pageants, and more.


It Happens This Week
• Fall Preview: TV upfronts hit town.
• Yankees vs. Mets.
• Spring gala at the Central Park Zoo: Annual Wildlife Conservation SAFARI.
• Vote: Sheldon Silver may decide whether stadium will happen.
• U2 plays MSG.
• And . . . ‘Star Wars’!!!

Un-Thoroughly Modern Martha
How her Gordon Bunshaft house got the shaft.
Textiles magnate Donald Maharam, who recently bought Martha Stewart’s Gordon Bunshaft– designed house in East Hampton for about $9 million, wants to make it very clear that he’s sorry, but he has to tear it down. Because she wrecked it. The walls and floor are missing, plywood stands in for doors, the roof leaks, and there’s a five-foot-deep hole in the floor filled with sand that was supposed to be a basement but resembles, Maharam says, “a Bavarian bathhouse” instead. However, it’s on Georgica Pond. “It’s really not a house anymore,” he says. “It’s an exquisite piece of property. That’s why I bought it.” MoMA, which was willed the house by Bunshaft and then sold it to Stewart, refused to comment. But modern-architecture preservationists are up in arms. “What bastards,” says Michael Gotkin of the Modern Architecture Working Group, who once took a look at it from a boat in the pond. “It is a very important house. Regardless of the present condition, the exterior could certainly be restored to its original appearance, if only the owner was willing.”
—Peter Beller

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