Buyers Spurn $12 Million Glass House

People who live in glass houses might not get the asking price. That's the reality facing the owners of Chalan Farm, a 34,000-square-foot glass mansion hidden on 48 wooded acres near Princeton.

Made of commercial-grade tinted glass, the house has been on the market since last July. List price: $12 million.

Owners John and Prudence Boulton "were disappointed, not depressed" when their dream house failed to sell at auction in May, said Thomas E. Hora of Prudential Fox & Roach in New Hope, Pa., who is assisting in the sale. It failed to attract even the minimum bid of $3 million.

John Boulton, a retired Columbia Electronics CEO, indulged his whims when he built the 420-foot-long ranch, patterned after designs by architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe. With building costs at nearly $10 million, the house isn't done yet, Hora said. Only three of nine bathrooms are finished, he said, and the temporary kitchen, while it works, isn't the $150,000 kitchen the owners planned.

The Boultons had barely obtained a Certificate of Occupancy in 2000 when they began rethinking their location. Prudence Boulton's bad back, sustained during a career as a horsewoman, persuaded the couple to live closer to her Manhattan doctors.

The house is not made entirely of glass. The eight-car heated underground garage is constructed of conventional materials. The 17,000-square-foot first floor, however, — including bedrooms and baths — is enclosed by floor-to-ceiling panels of green-hued glass, separated by metal supports.

"It really is glass from one end to the other, said Carl Carter, a spokesman for J.P. King Auction Co., which handled the auction. "You can stand in the front and watch a squirrel in the back."

600450 Buyers Spurn $12 Million Glass House

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