Missouri's Most Expensive Home Is an Old World Manor With Modern Luxuries

  • The exterior

    The exterior  (Copyright 2014 Steven B Smith. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized Use is Strictly Prohibited. (314) 330-5042 ste)

  • The grounds

    The grounds

  • Living Space

    Living Space  (Copyright 2015 Steven B Smith. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized Use is Strictly Prohibited. (314)330-5042 steve@sb)

We regularly look at the most expensive MLS-listed house in each state.

Built in 1926, the most expensive home in the Show Me state forces you to look at it. Admire it. Soak it in. Once you're done looking, you can ponder spending $10 million on this grand estate in Ladue, MO.

Designed by architect George Hellmuth (who went on to found HOK, the largest U.S.-based architecture-engineering firm), this Missouri megamansion transports the vibe of the grand estates of the East Coast to the Midwest. Think Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and old money plopped down in a tony suburb of St. Louis.

Listing agent Sandra Coburn told us the home's original owner was a lumber baron who traveled all over Europe sourcing the best materials and artisans to give the home its distinct Old World flavor. Hellmuth worked with those raw material to create the manor now known as The Woodlands.

But it's certainly not stuck in the past. Coburn said the current owners bought the home in 1999 and embarked on a multiyear renovation that cost about $8 million.

"It's the ultimate manor home, taken to the 2015 level," Coburn said. "They enhanced, enriched, and improved on the home, but kept with the tradition, scale, and footprint of the property."

They worked with designer Marshall Watson to ensure that the home's updates enhanced its natural beauty while adding modern touches throughout, Coburn explained. Their result is a home that "would cost $35 million to try to re-create from scratch."

The 14-bedroom manor is set amid wide expanses of lush grass and classic gardens, including an award-winning rose garden that evokes a distinctly European feel. There's also a pond, pool, tennis court, carriage house, and private running trail.

Inside, the home has five bedrooms, six full bathrooms, and three half-baths. It also has all the features of a smart home: You can control most settings through your mobile device.

Despite its 10,000-square-foot size, Coburn noted, the home "is so warm, so livable. It has opulence and sophistication, but it's designed for a family who wants a multigenerational property."

A full tour of the property takes a few hours, but the experience is never a slog, she said. "Most everyone wants to come back and absorb a detail they feel they missed the first time around."

And she isn't daunted by having to sell the state's most expensive home. "It's an honor and privilege to hang out at this place" with its high level of detail and design, Coburn says.

How about finding a buyer who wants to uphold that honor?

"It will take a buyer who values history and Old World craftsmanship."