After years of research with the objective that the architectural details would genuinely pay tribute to the architecture of the late 1800’s, Al Tapper wanted this home to be just as beautiful and historical without furniture, as it be would with brilliant pieces procured from the most renowned auction houses from around the world, including Christies and Sotheby’s.
During the construction period of the home which was built in 2000, the majority of the furnishings were sourced from Christies and Sothebys—and where he wasn’t able to buy the pieces he was looking for, he created them. For example, the master bedroom’s light oak flooring was stenciled to replicate wood inlays of elaborate parquet floors that were the norm in the late 1800 European manors. Pieces were reupholstered, restored, and, if necessary, rebuilt to new dimensions. The carved Louis XVI double bed in the master bedroom, for example, was reconfigured to become a king-size bed, with the new carving indistinguishable from the original.
Al’s favorite room is the dining room. His objective was to create a fantasy garden. He wanted it to look as if gatherings of family and friends had enjoyed generations of fine dining there. The console in the dining room is framed in Kerry-edits (caryatids), which are sculpted female figures serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head. The history dates as far back as the 6th century BCE. Here, caryatids were incorporated into the architecture of buildings intended to house offerings, like the Siphnian Treasury. At this site, the people of Delphi brought gifts to Apollo, an important Olympian deity in both Greek and Roman mythology. They fell out of fashion in the Middle Ages, but the Italian Renaissance sparked cultural interest in classical antiquity and artists revived the practice.
As a playwright and a movie producer, among his many other achievements, Al wanted to create a special theater in the home to pay homage to the 1930’s, a time when movie theatres really exploded and the decorative style was Art Deco. Signature to Al’s commitment to authenticity— he wanted to be honest to the art form—so he researched the era and recaptured the beauty, simplicity, and dignity of the Art Deco flair with his color selections of ebony and ivory and exquisite craftsmanship. Every detail of the interior is taken into account— from the décor and seating, to the light fixtures and acoustical treatments. Posters of old movies were bought at auctions and are the original posters from the 1930’s Public Enemy and The Great Zieg feld.
Al’s sprawling single-story estate sits on a double lot sited on over 2/3 acre in the coveted Coventry subdivision within Woodfield Country Club features over 8,200 square feet. This estate boasts five gracious bedroom suites, five beautifully appointed full baths, two powder baths, and a sophisticated library. The property exudes an aura of genuine antiquity with architectural fittings specially curated from all over the world. Exterior spaces are transformed into a verdant landscape with a myriad of tropical plantings, winding brick paths, and large open spaces. The listing agent for this property is Bonnie Heatzig of Douglas Elliman.