John McEnroe’s Net Gets Lower


It would seem that John McEnroe’s reaction to offers for his Southampton home has been, “You can’t be serious!” How else to explain that the Hall of Fame player and busy broadcaster has just lowered the price of his Squabble Lane manse by $2 million. (Really, on what other street would the volatile tennis star live?)

As reported in May, the property was first listed for $14.5 million. Apparently, the way the ball has bounced since then, there have not been enough serious buyers in the game, hence the new $12.5 million ask. This could be turning into a bargain. The house that Mr. McEnroe and his wife, the rock singer Patty Smyth—who showed up not that long ago to perform at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett—is described as a “grand traditional” on 2.17 acres with deeded beach rights. The dwelling is 7,500 square feet featuring eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms as well as a living room with a vaulted ceiling, balconies, a library, office, den and sunroom. Outside, in addition to the Har-tru tennis court, there is a Gunite pool—good for cooling off after tantrums—surrounded by “lush, rolling green lawns, color-infused specimen trees, shrubs, and gardens.”

Who could find “fault” with that?

As a reminder to you local history buffs, the Squabble Lane property has the distinction of once being part of the Murray-McDonnell compound. The story of these two families can be found in the 1973 book by Stephen Birmingham titled “Real Lace: America’s Irish Rich” and, published four years later, in “Golden Clan: The Murrays, the McDonnells & the Irish American Aristocracy,” by John Corry. The clan chronicled were the children and grandchildren of the inventor Thomas Murray, a colleague of Thomas Edison. These two generations helped form the first Southampton summer colony in the late 1800s. Their celebrity increased when one McDonnell daughter married Henry Ford II and a Murray married Alfred Vanderbilt, and the activities of the members of the intertwined families were covered somewhat breathlessly by the press in New York and in the Hamptons.

At one time, the collection of Murray and McDonnell estates in Southampton totaled 300 acres. Still to be found occasionally in the society pages are part-time resident Catherine Murray di Montezemolo and Peggy McDonnell, the wife of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

If the tennis legend and his warbling wife were to leave the area, there would still be a McEnroe presence in Southampton, thanks to John’s brother, Patrick, also a broadcaster, and his wife, the singer Melissa Errico, who has been garnering rave reviews after the recent revival of “Finian’s Rainbow” on stage in Manhattan.

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