Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark, the 28-acre estate where the Obamas just spent their Martha’s Vineyard vacation is going up for sale. Because President Barack Obama and family have rented the compound for one week for the past three years, bringing with them staffers and Secret Service, many call it the Summer White House. The owner, William Van Devender, a Republican timber businessman, is asking $24.5 million for the 28.5-acre estate, which is one of just a handful of large private compounds on the 87-square-mile Massachusetts island.
A peak at Blue Heron’s listing makes it easy to figure out why the President sought out this abode every summer since 2009: there’s plenty of room for Secret Service and presidential aids and a plethora of on-site amenities to entertain the family. The property includes 5 main structures – including two full-size homes (5118 square feet and 3718 square feet respectively) – that have all been renovated to the highest specifications. One of just a few compounds on the Vineyard, Blue Heron Farm features 13,327 square feet of living space. That’s 13 bedrooms, 12 full baths, and 2 partial baths spread out over two full houses and one bunkhouse. The main home is an elegant farmhouse, and the Fisher House is a New England Shingle-style guesthouse overlooking farmland as well as Town Cove on Tisbury Great Pond.
The estate gets its farm title from an antique eight stall horse barn that was carted in from western Pennsylvania and reassembled. An Olympic-sized outdoor dressage arena and six grass paddocks accompany it. The grounds, comprised of four waterfront parcels, tout a pool, a hot tub, tennis courts, a Par 3-golf course, a basketball half-court and lawn bowling.
The property, listed by Sotheby’s International Realty, includes extensive frontage on Tisbury pond and boat access to a private beach on the Atlantic.
It is the quintessential Vineyard property — elegant, understated; it doesn’t reek of nouveau riche stuff, Mark Jenkins of Wallace&Co. Sotheby’s International Realty, said of the home. Perhaps the new owners will want the Obamas to be their guests.
President Obama has not been the first American president to call Martha’s Vineyard home during the warm summer months. American political royalty has flocked to the island for years, particularly prominent members of the Democratic Party. Descendants of the Kennedy family have owned and rented on the elite island for decades; former president Bill Clinton and his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have nested there on and off since Clinton’s presidential years. Even former president Ulysses S. Grant vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard during the 1870s.