GROSSE POINTE SHORES, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) -- The massive French chateau of furniture mogul Art Van Elslander - complete with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a three-story floating marble staircase and 265 feet of Lake St. Clair shoreline - has been listed for sale at $15.9 million, the highest price on any house currently for sale in Michigan.
Van Elslander, founder of Art Van Furniture, and his wife, Mary Ann, built the house in 1991, and it has remained a mystery behind elaborate iron gates on Lakeshore Drive in Grosse Pointe Shores. The house has never been photographed for the public, said Realtor Jamie Rae Turnbull, and was mostly kept private by the family.
((View the photo gallery of Van Elslander's home))
It sits on 3.75 manicured acres that include a long brick driveway, lavish landscaping, the outdoor swimming pool, decorative pools, fountains, a tennis court, a basketball court, a putting green and sand traps.
Indoors, some of the public rooms are huge. The family room is 49 feet by 38 feet, the dining room 36 feet by 29 feet. Even the den is 25 feet by 24 feet. There are six bedrooms, each a suite with a full bath and a balcony.
The ground-floor rooms all open out onto stone verandas. "Between the architect and the builder, a lot of thought went into how blending that indoor space with the beautiful grounds," Turnbull said. "Light floods into the rooms."
The main house measures about 18,000 square feet. That jumps to 28,000 if you add the finished lower level and the two-bedroom carriage house. The house and outbuildings are built of brick and limestone and are roofed with slate.
Turnbull called it "the crown jewel of the shoreline in Grosse Pointe."