Over the years, certain historically significant locations have come to stand for their era, the ideals of a people, or a specific way of life that is peculiar to a city or a nation. Such priceless locations appear unreplaceable. Many would find it unconventional, to put it mildly, to think of them as being sold as simply commodities.
Even though it may sound unbelievable, some of the world’s most treasured sites have been placed up for sale. In fact, several of them have been sold, sometimes more than once.
10 Carter’s Grove Plantation
A plot of land close to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, with a view of the James River, is where Carter’s Grove Plantation is located. It is one of the most historic locations in the entire country. Before being bequeathed to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in the 1960s, it had been held privately for generations.
The cost of upkeep for the plantation was high. In 2007, the organization shuttered it, and rich Virginian businessman Halsey Minor purchased Carter’s Grove. In 2011, Minor had a financial downturn and filed for bankruptcy, putting the property up for sale. In 2014, Chicago billionaire Samuel M. Mencoff paid $7.5 million for it.
During Minor’s ownership, the Georgian home experienced disrepair. Water leaks caused plaster and brick to be destroyed, and “basic maintenance work [was] left undone.” Mencoff, a well-known preservationist, expressed his pride in taking over care of the site through a spokesman and his intention to preserve it, working with Colonial Williamsburg to do this.
9 Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood sign, which was constructed in the 1920s to advertise a real estate development on a ridge between Cahuenga Peak and Mount Lee, was considerably worse for wear by the late 1970s. It was intended to be replaced by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for around $250,000.
Hugh Hefner, the publisher of the magazine, staged an extravagant party at his Playboy house and sold the historical object letter by letter for $27,700 apiece to raise the money. The previous sign was taken down and “nine sparkling white letters were erected in its stead” after the fundraising was a success.
Everything appeared to be well until 2002, when investors decided to build on 138 acres of property they had purchased next to the sign. Howard Hughes, a multibillionaire, had acquired the estate in 1940. Though their relationship ended, he had intended to construct a house there for his lover, the actress Ginger Rogers.
The investors purchased his land in 2002 when it was up for sale. Now, if the area were to be developed, it may significantly alter the well-known scenery. To acquire the property and protect the region close to the legendary sign, the “Save the Peak” campaign was started.
Once more, Hefner was crucial in maintaining the landmark’s placement. The fundraising effort fell only $1 million shy of the $12.5 million required as the purchase deadline drew near. The site of the Hollywood sign was preserved thanks to a donation from Hefner.
Hefner stated, “I am glad to have been in a position to have been able to accomplish it. We call it the Eiffel Tower. It stands for, in my opinion, more than just a city; it stands for Hollywood fantasies.