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The secret history of the Russian-owned estates now at the center of U.S. sanctions

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The secret history of the Russian-owned estates now at the center of U.S. sanctions The secret history of the Russian-owned estates now at the center of U.S. sanctions

The secret history of the Russian-owned estates now at the center of U.S. sanctions

What we know about two grand estates in Maryland and Long Island that have long served as compounds for Russian diplomats As payback for Russian interference in the election, President Barack Obama ordered a pair of waterfront estates owned by the Russian government to be vacated this week. Owned for decades as out-of-town escapes for the Russia?s elite diplomats, these two estates?in Long Island and in eastern Maryland, outside of D.C.?speak to the elevated nature of diplomatic life, boasting amenities such as full-sized soccer fields, lighted tennis courts, and swimming pools.
Labeled ?beachside spy nests? by the U.S., they also represent part of the intriguing history of Russian-American relations, and how both have used this types of upscale real estate in their rival?s homeland for international relations, consular missions, and covert surveillance and spying. The Obama administration?s move, the largest expulsion of Russian officials since 2001, centers on a historic Long Island manse known as Killenworth and a Georgian-style mansion on the Corsica River outside of Centreville, Maryland.

Library of Congress:  Frances Benjamin Johnston
Hand-colored 1918 photo on Killenworth

The Long Island retreat, Killenworth, was built by George Dupont Pratt?son of the founder of Standard Oil, Long Island railroad employee, and co-founder of the Boy Scouts. It has played a key role in Russian diplomacy for decades after being purchased for $1 million in 1946, serving as temporary lodging for both Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro before they spoke at the UN. Originally built in 1913, the sprawling English Renaissance estate featured 49 rooms and 12 fireplaces, and was County Life magazine?s Home of the Year in 1914. Designed by the Philadelphia firm of Trowbridge and Ackerman, the home is considered the apex achievement of landscape architect James Leal Greenleaf, whose work graces a number of high-end mansions in the northeast, as well as the Lincoln Memorial (a flower bed on the ground was once tended by 50 gardeners). It even earned screen time in the movie Sabrina, a 1954 love story starring Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.

The USSR purchased the estate in 1947 to house the country?s United Nations delegation. Foreign Minister V.M. Molotov, a key Stalin ally who helped sign the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact in 1939, was one of the first to move in and use the estate. First occupied during the outset of the Cold War, the Russian retreat always had a somewhat tense relationship with its neighbors, though for decades, one of the main complaints of the city of Glen Cove wasn?t just Russian surveillance, but rather a refusal to pay taxes.

Library of Congress: Frances Benjamin Johnston

Library of Congress: Frances Benjamin Johnston

The city pushed for payment from the outset, which led to decades of court fights, with the United States ambassador t...
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The secret history of the Russian-owned estates now at the center of U.S. sanctions The secret history of the Russian-owned estates now at the center of U.S. sanctions


Fuente de la noticia: curbed
Fecha de publicación: 30-12-2016 21:53
visto: 39

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