David and Jackie Siegel, the owners of America’s largest family home, the gold-encrusted “Palace Of Versailles”, have announced that their mansion will finally be completed in 2015, after 11 years of construction.
Self-made billionaire David Siegel, told CNBC that he’s excited about moving into the property located in Windermere, Florida, although, if someone offered him enough money – $100 million to be exact – he might consider selling out.
However, his 47-year-old former beauty queen wife, Jackie Siegel, seemed distraught at the thought of letting her dream mansion go and jokingly interjected: “Or I could live there and you could sell your half right?”
David and Jackie Siegel, who have eight children, along with their entourage of nannies and housekeepers starred in the 2012 award-winning documentary by Lauren Greenfield, The Queen Of Versailles.
The documentary chronicled them as they built their 90,000-square-foot, 30-bedroom abode modeled after France’s 17th century Palace of Versailles. The project has been in the pipeline since 2004.
Work stopped on the 90,000-square-foot build in 2009 after creditors went after David Siegel’s timeshare company, Westgate Resorts, but recommenced this year after business bounced back.
Now the finish date is just two years away.
Unable to contain her excitement, Jackie Siegel recently told New York Magazine: “We’re going to inlay the floors with a lot of onyx and amethyst and semiprecious stones.”
Jackie Siegel recently explained that as a result of the delay they have had to make several minor adjustments to the floor plans – especially now the children are older.
For example, instead of sandboxes and playrooms, they plan on creating ‘man caves’ and yoga studios.
The mansion is the largest single-family home in America, with a custom-made stained-glass oculus, 10,000-square-foot spa and a commercial kitchen with a Benihana-style grill.
It is nine times larger than other houses in the area and has a $20 million mortgage, which is 100 times the size of the average mortgage in Central Florida, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Explaining their master suite, Jackie Siegel, who won the Miss Florida beauty title in the Nineties, said: “We’re gonna have a round platform with a round bed, and it’s going to have buttons so you can watch TV.”
The master bathroom will include a Jacuzzi, his-and-hers showers, and a third in the center – in case they “want to take a shower together”. Gesturing at the space between the his-and-hers showers, she said: “Because this, is too far to walk.”
The ten staff quarters located inside the mansion each includes a jacuzzi and a kitchen.
Jacie Siegel, who was branded as “tacky” and “ditzy” after the documentary The Queen Of Versailles premiered at the Sundance Festival last year, explained: “People said, <<Why do they need ten kitchens? That’s ridiculous!>>. But it’s because they’re in the staff apartments.”
The mansion’s doors are made from one of world’s last batches of Brazilian mahogany. The former beauty queen casually remarked: “They had to stop exporting it because they were cutting down the rain forest, or whatever.”
As well as 30 bedrooms, the home will have 23 bathrooms with views over Lake Butler, about 20 miles outside Orlando.
Meanwhile, Jackie Siegel said that the mansion’s mezzanine will be used for “an orchestra for the people downstairs. Or speeches. Like if the president came”.
Jackie Siegel said that once her dream home is complete she would like to launch her own reality show. But David Siegel, 77, said he has no interest in getting back in front of the camera.
He is only intent on finishing work on the mansion which has been under construction for more than a decade, after the financial crisis and recession delayed progress – “but now we’re doing better than ever” David Siegel said of his company.
David Siegel actually filed suit against the filmmaker, Lauren Greenfield, before The Queen of Versailles even premiered, claiming its depiction of his company’s downfall was inaccurate and damaging to his business.
“I don’t know how it happened,” he said.
“Suddenly the focus wasn’t the house. It became the family, and then it became the business.”
He added: “The only thing that’s true about [the documentary] is that my wife is a big-busted shopaholic. Jackie, they could have called her an ax murderer, and she’d have been happy they spelled her name right.”
David and Jackie Siegel currently live in a 26,000-square-foot home in the exclusive Isleworth gated community, best known as the scene of Tiger Woods’ 2009 car crash just before his divorce.
While their yet-to-be-completed home is large, the original Versailles, outside Paris and completed by the Sun King, Louis XIV, in 1710, is much, much larger.
The 219,000-square-foot landmark boasts 2,300 rooms and 67 staircases. Building it also caused financial problems, nearly bankrupting France.