Monday, October 05, 2009

The second gilded age...

One of the more storied boats to grace the St. Lawrence river is the awkward on the outside, stunning on the inside, La Duchesse that currently resides at the Antique Boat Museum here in Clayton, NY.



The 106' houseboat La Duchesse brings the gracious River lifestyle of one hundred years ago to life. Built in 1903 for millionaire hotelier George Boldt, manager of New York City's famed Waldorf-Astoria hotel, the houseboat has been in continuous use as an elegant summer residence ever since.
While La Duchesse was certainly an extravagant purchase in an era of emerging wealth in the US, it still maintained a balance between indulgence and understated elegance.
Fast forward 99 years and look what the real estate boom hath wrought.....
You really have to go to the auction website to appreciate the unreal gaudiness of this monstrosity. 5 bedrooms, hot tub, washer/dryer, three decks, granite counters, flat screens, etc.
My favorite customization is the etching on the shower doors......

Obviously, when I saw the name Prime Time and the over the top design style, my first thought was Deion Sanders? But a little "digging" reveals that the boat was built for an owner called Earth Movers, LLC.
It seems safe to guess that a company named Earth Movers would be involved in the excavation and given that the boat is stored on Lake Mead, it seems safe to guess the owners profited from the boom in the Las Vegas housing market (which has now busted). Now the boat has been foreclosed upon and will go to the highest bidder.
On a separate note, the tax accountant in me cringes when I see that the owners bought this boat in their company's name -- it's pretty hard to justify that a 75 ft houseboat on Lake Mead is going be used for business purposes.
It's pretty amazing that a century ago you had to own the Waldorf Astoria to have a houseboat like La Duchesse while in 2002 you could build a boat like Prime Time if you had a busy back hoe in Las Vegas for a couple of years.

4 comments:

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The Hermit said...

Ya think we should look at their tax returns? wink wink

Anonymous said...

FYI, this boat was owned by a LDS man who owned MANY companies, he loved the water and used it often, a very good person who earned his way to the top. The he sadly passed away about a year before the family let this boat go, market was bad and could not sell it. Be careful to judge until you know the whole story.

Anonymous said...

FYI, this boat was owned by a LDS man who owned MANY companies, he loved the water and used it often, a very good person who earned his way to the top. The he sadly passed away about a year before the family let this boat go, market was bad and could not sell it. Be careful to judge until you know the whole story.