The grandiose Las Vegas mansion once owned by Liberace has been sold for $500,000, according to real estate brokerage Redfin.
The pianist purchased the Paradise residence in the 1960s and called it home until his death in 1987. It has since bounced from owner to owner, used as an event space until it fell into foreclosure in 2010. JP Morgan Chase owned the property until it was purchased recently by a lifelong Liberace fan.
Englishman Martyn Ravenhill bought the house for $500,000 — far less than the $3.7 million it cost real estate investor Terrance Dzvonick to acquire the property in 2006 — in celebration of his 50th birthday. Ravenhill said he flew to Las Vegas from his home in Mexico the day after he heard the property was available.
“Suddenly there I was walking around this place. Opening the door felt like home. There was a strange feeling of nostalgia to me. You could feel the history in the place as well,” he told Get Surrey. “As we were walking around I already knew that I had to buy it to mark my 50th birthday. I have come to the realisation that you have to do things while you can and seize the moment.”
Ravenhill said he is working closely with the Liberace Foundation to restore the property to its former glory.
The mansion was once a showcase of Liberace’s signature over-the-top style: crystal chandeliers, custom marble pillars and etched glass could be found throughout. The performer once paid $75,000 to transport a spiral staircase from France, and another $350,000 to cover a room with copper tile. A mural in the master bedroom reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling was said by Liberace to be worth $1.5 million because it was “painted by a descendant of Michelangelo.”
Current photos of the property show it as a dilapidated shadow of its former self, with stained and peeling paint, cracked tile and other signs of neglect. Ravenhill said his first priority is to restore the property, but he is also on the lookout for Liberace memorabilia with which to decorate the 15,000-square-foot home. He said he is hoping to eventually open the property to the public.