Madame Chiang Kai-shek's New York estate up for sale

Updated: 2015-08-04 07:41

By Jiang Hezi in New York(China Daily)

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In the past week, nearly 100 people of Chinese descent have telephoned Jason Friedman about a mansion on Long Island, New York, which was listed for sale recently.

The interest by callers from the United States, the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and as far as New Zealand stemmed from the property's former owner Soong Mei-ling, also known as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, once the most influential woman in China.

"I was kind of expecting the reaction, but it's more than what I thought it would be," said Friedman, whose firm, Friedman Team, specializes in selling large, luxury properties on Long Island.

Madame Chiang lived in the property for two decades until it was sold in 1998, and then moved to an apartment in Manhattan. She died in 2003 at the age of 106.

Located in Lattingtown, 48 km from Manhattan, the property is listed at $11.8 million.

The mansion has nine bedrooms, nine bathrooms, six fireplaces, a movie theater, billiard room, gym and sauna.

The property's 5.2 hectares include a par-3 golf hole, a barn and a carriage house.

A private road leads to automatic gates into the home's private driveway.

"The whole thing together is one of the most amazing properties I've been on," said Friedman. "I've been on properties worth more than $100 million. This is one of the nicest houses I've seen."

Friedman said he had the first seven showings last Tuesday, and others "are arranging flights to come to see it from all over".

He said there are other houses in the area of similar size selling for the same price, but without historical value.

"The house speaks for itself, but the historical value being added on top is really what makes it special," said Friedman.

A devout Christian educated at the elite Wellesley College in Massachusetts, Madame Chiang was born in southern China and married Chiang Kai-shek in 1927.

Her elder sister, Soong Ching Ling, married Sun Yat-sen, a forerunner of the Chinese revolution and the founder of the Kuomintang and the Republic of China (1912-49).

Soong Ching Ling was elected the vice-president and honorary president of the People's Republic of China for her great contributions made to the Chinese revolution.

Soong Ai-ling, another sister of Madame Chiang, married Kung Hsiang-hsi, the Nationalist finance minister, who was a tycoon in the Republic of China.

In 1949, Madame Chiang fled to Taiwan. When Chiang Kai-shek died in 1975, she settled on the Long Island estate.

(China Daily 08/04/2015 page5)