Al and Tipper Gore’s recently purchased cozy Californian retirement villa now more likely to serve as a Fortress of Solitude. Oh, and it doesn’t look too eco-friendly either.
Many environmentalists, myself included, were a bit taken aback when word hit that Al and Tipper Gore had purchased a $9 million 6,500 sq. ft. Italian-style villa in Montecito, CA late last October.
The highly-exclusive neighborhood, which also counts mega-celebs like Oprah as residents, is ranked as the 7th most expensive in the U.S. by Forbes.
Now, it’s no surprise that the Gores have money. The former V.P. has always said that he puts his money where his mouth is – and it’s paid off handsomely for him. Nor should we discount the millions that Gore has funneled away from his personal accounts and into environmental foundations – like the Alliance for Climate Protection.
What’s irked the green scene, and given fuel to his detractors, is the underwhelming choice of this property with regards to sustainability. From the pictures that have been posted, there is no indication of any green features. Instead, we’re treated to specs like “6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, ocean views” that invite ridicule as proof that Gore is full of hot air and isn’t adhering to the very lifestyle he advocates the rest of the world to follow.
It’s interesting to note, however, that while the property was purchased in October 2009, it wasn’t actually purchased under the Gore’s names. As the blog Real Estalker points out, the home “was purchased through a trust that links back to the very same post office box in itty-bitty Carthage, TN to which all of the other Gore properties link back.” This is unusual, the site says, as this is the first property to have been done this way.
Ok, so why all the secrecy?
There are two possible reasons: 1. The Gores were keeping this property under wraps until all green-energy remodeling projects could be completed, thus avoiding (now unsuccessfully) the drama that ensued over their Tennessee home back in 2007 or 2.) they really just didn’t want anyone to know about this home.
For more on what will undoubtedly become a receptacle for old Ramen containers and empty whiskey bottles, check out the full article at Ecorazzi.
Editor’s note: Article by Michael d’Estries. Originally published by our friends at Ecorazzi. Ecorazzi is the source for breaking green gossip. Be sure to visit them and say hi, and follow Ecorazzi on Twitter, too!
Image: World Economic Forum