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Pianist’s Waterfront Lot Is Divided

October 24, 2002

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GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) _ The estate of Victor Borge has received approval to subdivide his waterfront property.

The renowned pianist and satirist lived in the Belle Haven section of Greenwich for more than 40 years before his death in 2000 at 91.

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved a plan Tuesday to split the 4.16-acre lot into two 2-acre parcels.

Because the proposed property line runs through Borge’s former home, the 19-room house would be demolished.

Borge’s estate was put on the market in April for $30 million, a price that would have set a record for residential real estate in Greenwich.

Sotheby’s International Realty is handling the sale for Borge’s heirs, and the estate was listed on the firm’s Web site Wednesday at $21.5 million.

Francine Ehrlich, the listing broker, said someone has signed a contract to buy the estate, though the sale is not final. She wouldn’t divulge the potential buyer’s identity or the agreed-upon price.

Borge’s three-story, 11,000-square-foot house was built in 1905. Any historic value the building might have had was lost when the musician remodeled it in the 1960s, giving it a more modern look, historians said.

In April, then-chairman of the Historic District Commission Peter Alexander said Borge had at one time painted ``giant piano keys″ on the eastern-facing side of the house, visible to boaters in Greenwich Harbor and passengers aboard the town ferry heading to Island Beach. While the paint job was ``hilarious″ _ befitting Borge’s sense of humor and the era of Liberace in which it was done _ Alexander said it may have destroyed the house’s ``historic and architectural significance.″

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