John W. Kluge, the Metromedia mogul and one-time richest man on the planet who died last year at age 95, gave handsomely to UVA in both money and real estate. He did the same at his alma mater, Columbia University, where his $60 million gift for student aid in 1993 was the largest received by the school at the time. Kluge blew that gift out of the water in 2007, when he singlehandedly covered one-tenth of Columbia’s $4 billion capital campaign.
Now, Columbia has decided to cash in a portion of Kluge’s 2007 gift: Casa Sin Nombre ("house without name"), a 76-year-old mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, recently went on the market for $59 million. Proceeds from the sale are earmarked for scholarships.
Kluge, a longtime Albemarle County resident, donated 7,000-plus-acres to UVA in 2001, a gift that doubled UVA’s real estate holdings. For coverage of Kluge, click here.
In tangentially related news, Washington, D.C.-based Potomack Company plans to auction a few objets d’art from Albemarle House, Patricia Kluge’s foreclosed 45-room mansion. Those items include a half-dozen lifesize fiberglass statues, Chinese urns, and this oil portrait of John and Patricia Kluge, painted by Gregorio Sciltian. The painting’s value is estimated at $1,000 to $1,500.