Great American Songbook Foundation to Sell Asherwood

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The Carmel estate known as Asherwood is in the process of being sold by the Great American Songbook Foundation. The 107-acre estate was donated to the foundation in January by Bren Simon in support of their music education and historic preservation programs. 

The Asherwood estate features a fully-furnished 50,000-square-foot main house, 8,000-square-foot clubhouse, a 6,000-square-foot guest house, and two golf courses. An auction of antique furniture, artwork and other property from all structures on the property will be held November 17-18.  The Foundation is also seeking proposals from real estate brokers to find the best way to market and sell the property, likely valued at over $30 million. 

Executive Director Chris Lewis says the decision to sell was made after months of discussion and study by their staff and 10-member committee formed by the Board of Directors. The team has consulted with several professionals to find the best possible uses for the property.

“We have said from the beginning that the possibilities for this site are endless, and that is still true,” Lewis said. “For our organization, the path most consistent with our mission and the intent of Mrs. Simon’s gift is to maximize the value of the property and leave its future uses to other businesses or organizations that specialize in those fields, provided that their plans also represent the best interests of the neighboring property owners and the broader community.”

The auction will be conducted by New York-based auction house Guernsey's, who has managed sales of items from John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley and Princess Diana. The unreserved auction will include about 1,000 lots for sale, including custom furniture, imported rugs and decor. A separate auction of antique books from the Asherwood library will be held at a later date. 

The public is invited to visit the estate and preview auction items Nov. 10,11 and 16 from 10am-6pm. Proceeds from the sale will be used to find a permanent home for the Songbook Foundation's collection of memorabilia, sheet music and other items which are now housed at the Center for the Performing Arts. 

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