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12 Dec

Magical Mansions for the Price of Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ Dress

Magical Mansions for the Price of Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ Dress

It was one of Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic looks. The sheer, flesh-colored, body-hugging dress designed by Jean Louis that sparkled with more than 2,500 hand-stitched crystals. It was worn by Marilyn as she serenaded U.S. President John F. Kennedy with her sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday” in 1962 at a Democratic fundraiser at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The performance garnered a lot of attention and sparked rumors that Marilyn and the President were having an affair. The dress fit so perfectly, it’s been said that Marilyn was sewn into it.

The dress was also the garment she wore in one of her last public appearances before she died less than three months later, at the age of 36. The story behind the dress is what makes it such a valuable item. It originally cost $12,000 but sold for over $1.26 million in 1999. The dress appeared on the auction block once again in 2016 and fetched a hefty $4.8 million, making it the world’s most expensive dress. The museum chain Ripley’s Believe It Or Not was the winning bidder. Anyone who truly loves fashion would easily be willing to pay such money to own the dress if they could afford it. Still, it’s a lot of money for a dress you’ll probably never wear, and I can’t help but wonder what else money like that can buy.

Here in Calgary, funds like that can take you a long way, whether you’re looking for a souped-up sports car, a luxurious vacation, or a beautiful new home. Out of curiosity, I thought it’d be interesting to look into just what sort of home the Calgary real estate market offered for around the cost of Marilyn’s dress. And I was not disappointed. Calgary has some stunning mansions that would fit anyone’s dream home wish list.

A perfect example is this amazing property in Aspen Estates. The home’s exterior has a pleasant rural feel, while the inside has modern luxury and style that seems to go on forever. If toys on wheels are your thing, the five-car garage with a breezeway into the home is going to be a huge selling feature. Comfort comes in the form of large windows providing plenty of natural light, nine fireplaces throughout the home, and high-quality finishes that offer that extra something special.

I don’t think I would ever get bored living here, since the home also features a custom gym with a half bath, an infrared sauna, a custom-built wine room, a media room, a wet bar, a games room, and a golf simulator room. Outdoor fun is also in store with exterior fireplaces and seating, a built-in barbeque, and a hot tub. All in all, this 8,013-square-foot home with four bedrooms and nine (yes, nine!) bathrooms is a way better value than Marilyn’s dress.

Another awesome option is this home in the heart of the city. Inspired by a bit of history and a bit of world travel, the property has unique features such as a concrete tile roof with copper dormers, gargoyles (a very gothic touch), custom crystal lighting, silver/gold leaf ceilings, and leaded art glass. I would definitely feel like a queen enjoying the home’s master ensuite, which has a steam shower, a soaker tub, and an opulent marble fireplace.

If you’re into entertaining, this home is likely a great choice for you. The gourmet kitchen includes high-end appliances and finishes, and opens to a dining area, a den, and a breakfast nook. A burled olive wood bar and entertaining area also offer options for hosting gatherings. I’d certainly be happy in this 5,701-square-foot dwelling that includes five bedrooms and six bathrooms, as well as a gym and three-car garage.

After seeing what else the dress money can buy, what do you think? Would you still offer up the cash to own something pretty, but not very useful, or would you lean towards spending that money on something pretty that you could enjoy day in and day out?

Chinenye Otakpor
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