Mansion on a Hill


It’s hard to believe that West Hartford allows this sort of monstrosity.

Here’s what Arnold Chase, a good man, is building atop Avon Mountain, according to the Hartford Courant’s story today:

Building plans filed at town hall in West Hartford offer room-by-room details of the abode, which has two large “basement” levels and is, therefore, mostly underground.

The 13,063-square-foot lower basement will be used mostly for storage and mechanicals, but it does have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a workshop.

The 20,410-square-foot upper basement includes an entire home theater wing. The theater has more than 100 seats, with space for a lobby, a concession stand and even a ticket booth. Down the hall is the “soda fountain room” and a 4,700-square-foot game room. The rest of the floor is mostly reserved for a 5,000-square-foot music room.

The two main living levels are the 8,951-square-foot first floor, and the 7,462-square-foot second floor, which has a master bedroom wing that includes his and her closets, his and her bathrooms, a sleeping room and sitting room. There are four other bedrooms and a study on the second floor.

Even the attic has some livable space – an observation area with a gallery, small kitchen, powder room and outside deck.

An Otis elevator will serve all levels of the home.



Filed under West Hartford

33 responses to “Mansion on a Hill

  1. turtle

    Can we restore Middle School Quest off this guy?

  2. Becca

    For the taxes Chase will, and already does pay, he already is paying for Quest – only the Board of Ed and Town Council have diverted the funds for some other stupid things like Sklarz’s raise.

  3. Elmwoodian

    You make it sound like there was never a referendum that resulted in a 1.3 million dollar cut and that the BOE and TC just willy-nilly “diverted funds”.

    Anyway, Sklarz’s raise wouldn’t have paid for even a small fraction of a full-time teacher. The salary vote was more jarring symbolically than it was practically. It was a pee hole in a snowbank compared to the money that was sucked out after the referendum. You have the budget vote to thank for Quest’s ills. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

  4. Becca

    Elmwoodian you obviously missed my point.
    People like Chase have been funding education through their taxes, and what the BOE does with their budgeted money is clearly their own call, so if they cut Quest it isn’t because they aren’t getting enough money, it is because they obviously have other priorities on how to spend the money they already are getting – cut or no cut due to the referendum. They could have cut other stuff and kept Quest if it were that important. And if you and Turtle and Whdad think Quest is so important then why don’t you donate money to the school system to reinstate it? or hold a town wide fundraiser of some sort. Put your money where your mouth is and stop complaining about it..

  5. Elmwoodian

    So I’m supposed to fund the town b/c other people don’t feel like it? I think I’ll just leave that one be.

    That cut was not the BOE’s choice, because they had no choice. It’s just not as easy as you would make it seem Becca. Quest is important–vitally so, I believe–but when you’re handed a budget like that you don’t have a choice but to pare down to the “basics,” and thus it went.

  6. Becca

    Elmwoodian .. that’s BS – they always have a choice on what to spend their money on.

    “Other people don’t feel like it”… oh that’s rich. I doubt it has less to do with “feeling like it” than being able to.

    If you feel so strongly about a particular program then do something about it to raise money to fund it instead of bitching about it, or maligning the majority of the people who said enough is enough for taxes in town.

  7. EJ

    1- Wow- intersting how people think taxes should work. Let’s tax the rich into oblivion and discourage development.

    2- No one has answered how the BOE magically found the $500K from last year to do the final budget balance. How much else was left over that has not been passed along to the new budget and quietly placed into slush funds.

    3- To the Chase’s.

    Ya got it enjoy it and flaunt it. Your paying your fair share of taxes, that’s all you gotta do. And if they go nuts with taxes on you go enjoy Florida.

    And besides you’re adding to the tax base of the town with the new construction.

  8. turtle

    Let’s tax the rich into oblivion and discourage development.

    Hilarious. As if the rich haven’t been the exclusive beneficiaries of the federal plutocracy these past 7 years. Yet they still whine about their taxes. That is, the taxes that are left after their accountants are done.

    Or, as the now departed Queen of Mean put it, “Only the little people pay taxes.” See you in Hell, Leona!

  9. EJ

    Funny Turtle, I havn’t heard the Chases complain about their taxes, so what are you talking about.

    Behavior most certainly changes as taxes change. Just look at all those Floridians who moved from CT to avoid taxes, btw many of them former teachers and educators who helped create the tax problems up here. Amazing how they don’t want to stay and pay their fair share.

  10. Elmwoodian

    [Becca, let’s keep the dialog on this forum respectable, or it ceases being a place where reasoned people can debate the issues and turns into a flame war where folks use terms like “bitching” to describe another’s reasoned advocacy. Anyway, my comment is below:]

    Not “their” money, the town’s money–our money. WE made the call on how we wanted it to be spent by voting down the budget. You speak of the BOE cutting “something else” like it would be so easy, yet if you were there at, or watched, the budget meetings, you saw that all of the cut options were bad ones once the budget got sliced. Quest was just the “least worst” of the cut options. WH should strive for excellence, and Quest is excellence. Otherwise, WH just Hartford in a better outfit.

    Sad that we have to hold a bake sale for a program that should be fully funded.

  11. Enough of the taxes. I really would like someone to explain to me how you sleep in more than one bedroom at a time and how you use more than one bathroom at a time. Ok, I’ll give you 2 of each. Honestly, conspicuous consumption is really off the wall on this 85,000+ sq ft atrocity.
    I wonder if the Chases will be able to have their own traffic light installed on Avon Mountain. And what in the name of all that is holy are they going to observe from on high? It isn’t like this is oceanfront or NYC property. Maybe the key to all this is the 2 levels underground. Maybe it really is a bunker and the Chases are ahead of the curve.
    I guess I’ll just settle back in my 500 sq ft apt and think of how very lucky I am not having to go on shopping trips to furnish this museum.

  12. turtle

    Funny Turtle, I havn’t heard the Chases complain about their taxes, so what are you talking about.

    I wasn’t referring to the Chases. All I know about Chase is that whdad says he’s “a good man” and that Chase requires something called a “soda fountain room”. I have nothing against Chase or rich people personally.

    Rather, I was referring to the fact that the political party of the rich is insatiably devoted to paying ever fewer taxes, even during a time when their wealth has increased exponentially, and even during wartime.

  13. Becca

    Turtle – the Chases have supported pro tax democrats in past elections, so what the hell are you talking about?

  14. turtle

    Like I just said, Miss Manners, I’m not talking about the Chases. I’m responding to EJ’s comment that:

    1- Wow- intersting how people think taxes should work. Let’s tax the rich into oblivion and discourage development.

  15. Joe Visconti

    Mr. Chase has worked very hard in his lifetime, and with such difficult beginings he has come far and has lived the American Dream. Let’s not forget America is the land of opportunity where everyone can pursue their form of happiness.
    Good for you David.

  16. Joe Visconti

    Arnold, -fingers work with me here

  17. Gary Reger

    I wonder how many trees fell to clear-cut the plot required for this house and the building equipment?

  18. Elmwoodian

    the constant curmudgeon–Agreed, enough about the taxes.

    Your post reminded me of an interview that Will Smith did once where he got talking about the time when he first became famous and he had a collection of 10 or more cars. His dad says to him: “What the heck do you need all these cars for? You only got one butt!” That always cracks me up. It’s nice to have folks like that around when you get too big for your britches (hear that Mayor Perez?)

  19. turtle

    The house doesn’t look bad at all in the pic. What is it? Renaissance Redux?

  20. Looks like another location for Democrats to hold fundraising events while living the hypocrisy of preaching to us about land conservation, protecting wildlife, energy reduction, greed, and all the other wonderful values that they represent. Oh, and let’s h0pe they don’t run over any spotted owls while driving their gas guzzling land rovers up there to Mount Disney.

    Hate to admit it. But I have to agree that the Mountain should be preserved and such monstrosities should be build elsewhere. But its too late now. The Chase’s won and the public lost.

  21. Sean McCann

    EJ: former teachers and educators who helped create the tax problems up here

    The anti-tax ideologues show their convictions again. First thing we do, let’s kill all the teachers.

  22. Joe Visconti

    Please do not jest with a statement like “Let’s kill all the teachers”, Responsible Educational Funding has nothing to do with Murder.

  23. He’s right Sean. You can get your pro-teacher cartel comments in without the “kill” statements.

    For those who don’t know, Sean is a gym teacher or something, so he pounces on anyone who might screw with his plans to get rich on the taxpayer scheme.

  24. EJ

    Sean, that is not what I said, as I am sure you are well aware.

    My statement simply comments that Teachers don’t want to pay taxes anymore than anyone else and when they can they will escape to better tax situations. This despite the fact that it is the BOE and education policies that have helped create these horrid tax situations.

    The treachers are not necessarily the main problem, but an education establishment that wants and wants and wants, at some point the system breaks.

    Sort of like the Borg, do the damage and move on.

  25. Elmwoodian

    “For those who don’t know, Sean is a gym teacher or something”

    (Geez, and I wonder why people don’t want to use their real names. Personal attacks anyone?)

    “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” is a quote from Shakespeare, Henry VI (part 2).

  26. turtle

    For those who don’t know, Sean is a gym teacher or something, so he pounces on anyone who might screw with his plans to get rich on the taxpayer scheme.

    Hahahahaha! Still licking your wounds, “King”? No doubt Sean is shaking in his Nikes at the prospect of another round with a heavyweight like you!

  27. Yeah, well you can thank Whdad’s spam stopper from allowing me to post all the references to refrute his unrelenting belief that global warming is 100% certainty.

    Sean doesn’t concern me, really. It’s unfortunate that he isn’t willing to admit that there could be an agenda driven by the left out there that peddles BS on the global warming front to line their pockets with gold. But then again, he didn’t work at an environmental firm like I did either.

    I’m not out trying to disprove Global Warming, I’m just willing to say that the evidence is hole-ridden, and questioned by non-political elements of the scientific community. Sean’s already bought into it. Let’s hope he keeps his opinions to himself in the classroom. We don’t want our kids doing sit ups or being kept after school for offering a counter-opinion on the matter, or going against the school cartel thought police.

  28. And don’t get grumpy… there is nothing wrong with being a gym teacher or any kind of teacher. So don’t misread my humor as an attack.

  29. turtle

    Right. “The dog ate my homework.”

  30. He probably did turtle. In your case, he probably did. Now I’m grumpy… England’s loss to Germany is pathetic. Not that you understand any of that. But where is the freaking DEFENSE?

  31. Sebastien Rale

    If I may return to the subject of Mr. Chase’s new home — it is premature to condemn it simply because of its unusual size and configuration. Critics should consider that it is designed by Allan Greenberg, winner of the Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture. Photographs indicate the building has fine proportions based on neo-classical precedent. It is likely, therefore, that Mr. Chase’s property atop Avon Mountain will prove a handsome addition to the community.

    Bear in mind that Mark Twain probably heard some rather unflattering comments about his Steamboat Gothic mansion while it was under construction, but who today could imagine West Hartford without it?

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