Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Casa Casuarina aka the Versace House was built in 1930 in Miami, Florida and modeled after the Alcazar de Colon in Santo Domingo, a residence built in 1510 by the son of Christopher Columbus and reputedly the oldest existing house in the western hemisphere.
Gianni Versace purchased the building in 1992 for $2.9 million. After receiving city approval, he demolished the hotel next door, and a two-story, 6,100-foot addition was built, transforming it into Versace's Miami Beach house.
Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace, 50, was shot to death on the steps of his mansion, Casa Casuarina, as he returned from his daily morning walk on July 15, 1997. His murderer, Andrew Cunanan, a serial killer, committed suicide shortly thereafter.
Versace's beautiful three-story house, once a playground for some of the world's best-known celebrities, is again opening its doors to the rich and fabulous.
Peter Loftin, a telecommunications billionaire, purchased the house from the Versace Estate in September 2000 for approximately $19 million and reopened it as a private club with 220 members. The initiation fee: $50,000. Now the Casa is accepting overnight reservations for its 10 guest suites with prices ranging from $1,200 to $10,000 a night. Check me in.