John Travolta designed this Maine house in 1991 with his new bride, Kelly Preston, who died last year. And yesterday, he listed the property for $5 million.
With chintzy flower-patterned wallpaper and eclectic plush sofas, the 22-bedroom mansion looks more like what you’d expect from your great-aunt than from the great John Travolta — but the whimsical, cozy home is nothing short of endearing.
Now 67, “Grease” star Travolta and Preston, who died of cancer at age 57 in July, transformed the “spooky,” “dark” and “somber” historic house into the ultimate holiday space, a place to host their 55-member family, the couple told Architectural Digest in 1999.
A ’60-day marathon’ of redecorating
From marrying and closing on the house in September to hosting the family Christmas only a few months later, it was a “60-day marathon” of redecorating, Travolta told AD.
They completely redesigned the 11,000-square-foot, 42-room cottage-style house, which oozes magic from its crisscross window muntins to its sprawling fairy tale-themed playrooms.
“Though we both have strong ideas, we’ll each compromise, and we’ll work together on every aspect until it’s right,” Preston, who was known for her roles in “Jerry Maguire” and “For Love of the Game,” said of her home to AD, which compared their project to their strong marriage.
Children and family were top of mind in the design — Preston was pregnant with their first child, Jett, at the time. (He tragically died at age 16 of a seizure in 2009.) They transformed the entire third floor into a “magical children’s space” with a princess room, an airplane room, a Peter Pan room, a schoolhouse, a library, a diner and a performing stage with props.
They redid the kitchen, refurbished the English antique furniture, installed a hotel-size furnace and hand-picked furnishings.
“It was madness — but so much fun,” Preston told AD. After the first Christmas, they brought in interior designer Christopher B. Boshears to make the mansion more homey.
The pair met on the set of the 1989 film “The Experts” and had three kids together.
Fellow Scientologist Kirstie Alley first showed them the property.
The couple kept Preston’s two-year battle with cancer private until after her death. Preston’s unique flair throughout the property makes it easy to see why the “Pulp Fiction” star would sell the home following the death of his beloved wife of almost three decades.
Travolta was most recently seen dancing with his 20-year-old daughter Ella in a Miracle-Gro Super Bowl commercial. Travolta also has a 10-year-old son, Benjamin. Travolta’s most recent appearances include 2018 Mafia drama “Gotti” and the 2016 FX television show “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.”
A historic home on the Bluffs
The gated home, known as the Drexel Estate, has a square tower with a steep, pitched roof. It is unique in its juxtaposition of the Tudor and shingle styles, according to the National Register of Historic Places.
The home has a living room with a fireplace and a custom-built bar, a dining room with an original rustic fieldstone fireplace, a chef’s kitchen with a walk-in refrigerator, an office and a laundry room. The owner’s suite has its own sun porch, a full bathroom with a claw-foot tub and separate shower, according to the listing.
The hilly 50-acre estate on one of the highest points of the island sits on the Bluffs, where a dock provides boat access. There are open fields, gardens, woods and a large back deck overlooking a pool.
There is also a small farmhouse on the property where the couple stayed while they were redoing the house.
The house was built in 1903 by Peabody and Stearns for Philadelphia banker and high-speed power boat engineer George W.C. Drexel, according to archives.
Drexel died in 1944, and while property records are spotty, John Colaprete of Virginia and Robert Longi of Hawaii owned the property when it was registered as a historic landmark in 1985. They may have sold the property to Travolta when he purchased it in September 1991.
Travolta also owns a $3 million property near the Scientology headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, a home near the Jumbolair private airport in Ocala, Florida, and a $2.7 million mansion in Calabasas, California. He also recently sold his Brentwood mansion for $18 million to Scooter Braun.
Listing broker Brian Wickenden of Sotheby’s International Realty did not respond to a request for comment.