An exclusive look at Lake Tahoe’s crown jewel.By Mark Moffa
Readers of Unique Homes are no strangers to Tranquility. It has been among the world’s elite estates since its completion in 2000, and has been covered extensively in Unique Homes and Ultimate Homes. But a recent opportunity to tour the home in person provided a new perspective on the most prized property in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
Susan Lowe, senior vice president of Chase International, was our guide. Having seen many advertisements for Tranquility over the years, we were ready to see a grand estate. But what caught us by surprise were the stunning collections of artifacts and antiques so seamlessly and warmly enveloped into the home. There is a reason Tranquility is being sold completely furnished — some of the rooms literally were designed to showcase pieces of intricate handiwork discovered during the travels of owner Joel Horowitz (co-founder of Tommy Hilfiger), and his wife, Ann.
Our tour of the 26,000-square-foot main house began at the main entrance, graced with a staircase that precisely replicates that found on the RMS Titanic. Next, the grand hall features centuries-old artwork, gorgeous fireplaces mirroring each other on opposite sides of the room, and a restored ornate 1879 Steinway piano.
The formal dining room provides a fantastic example of the detail that went into the home. All of the skylights and light fixtures in Tranquility are works of art, and here we found an antique sconce that Ann Horowitz loved so much that she asked artisans to copy it so this room could be adorned with rows of these lights. If Lowe didn’t tell us, we would have never known which sconce was the original.
“I’ve shown this house maybe 15 or 20 times, and every time I see something that I haven’t noticed before,” Lowe says. “It’s amazing.”
Such impressive details continue throughout, along with hand-hewn beams and architecture inspired by the grandeur of European chateaus. There’s the floor patterned after the New York Public Library. There’s the cigar lounge emulating that in the St. Regis in New York City. There’s the master suite, which is basically an entire wing of the house. There’s the underground tunnel to the conservatory. And then there’s the tranquility.
Outside, on the Montana flagstone patios, you can hear it. You can see it. And you can feel it. “This is the reason it’s called Tranquility,” Lowe says, as we begin to stroll the 210 acres. “You hear nothing but the sound of the waterfall and the wind in the trees as you wander the grounds.”
We were touring the home with a potential buyer from Brazil, Maria Christina Mendes Caldeira. In three words, Caldeira sums it up nicely.
“It has soul,” she says.