Having previously tackled $100K hen houses for the 2012 holiday season and sequin-heavy yurts the season before that, Dallas-based luxury monger Neiman Marcus is now peddling adult slumber parties held in iconic works of modernist architecture as part of its publicity-grabbing annual ode to ridiculousness otherwise known as “Fantasy Gifts.”
Said famous work of modernist architecture is none other than Philip Johnson’s stunning-but-not-really-functional Glass House (1949) situated on the late, great American architect’s sprawling estate in New Canaan, Conn. Boasting zero interior walls but plenty of “very expensive wallpaper,” the undisputed granddaddy of glass houses was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997; the building was handed over to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and opened for public tours two years after Johnson’s death in 2005.
So how much, you ask, will it set one back to purchase Neiman Marcus’ Glass House Experience, a “gift” that includes an overnight stay in the celebrated, uber-minimalist structure and a “locally sourced, multicourse culinary experience” for up to ten guests (your dinner party guests needn’t bring along their sleeping bags as they’ll get the boot as soon as the meal is over)? Let’s just say it’s $29,970 more than the 30 bucks you’d normally fork over for a one-hour guided tour of the home.
Yep, that’s correct: Thirty grand for a one-night sleepover in Philip Johnson’s Glass House. In last year’s Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, that kind of money would have gotten you a non-speaking walk-on role in the Broadway revival of “Annie.” For $30K, I would think you'd be allowed to invite at least one friend/lover/spouse/slumber party BFF along for the ride. And it looks like you are indeed permitted to bring along a single guest to hunker down for the night in the Glass House and partake in sleepover-y activities like prank call boys, scarf Cheetos, and do each other's nails (you should probably consider inviting basket hoarding, Glass House-loving ex-con Martha Stewart over for the dinner party section of the evening at the very least):
You've always dreamed of calling an architectural icon 'home.' For the first time ever, you and a very lucky guest get to experience the next best thing: an overnight stay in the New Canaan, Connecticut, weekend residence of world-renowned architect and art patron, Philip Johnson. The Glass House and its bucolic surroundings are yours to explore upon arrival. Get up-close-and-personal access to the life and style of one of the twentieth century's most revered visionaries as you wander among the 14 architectural structures, study his world-class modern painting and sculpture collection, visit the private library, and stroll through the 49 acres of landscaped grounds.
Here's the thing: a portion of the sticker price for the sleepover is tax-deductible as all proceeds will be going directly to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Not a bad thing in the least so big spenders needn’t feel conflicted about indulging in such extravagance as there’s a very worthwhile philanthropic aspect to balance it all out. (To be clear, most Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gifts, even this year’s most bonkers offering, a $150,000 falconry accessory kit, entail a charitable contribution of some kind). Blackout dates include the entire months of July and August (the Glass House and the surrounding estate are open for public tours from the beginning of May through the end of November) and the purchaser of the Glass House Experience is required to enter into a special use agreement with the NTHP.
If spending $30,000 on a sleepover in a massively influential glass cube in southwestern Connecticut is out of your budget, you can always opt for a crazy-looking exercise bike thingy from Italy ($11,000) or Jeff Koons’ “Dom Pérignon's Balloon Venus” sculpture. ($20,000). Other more "budget"-minded Fantasy Gift picks in recent years have included edible gingerbread playhouses ($15,000), gourd ukuleles ($6,000), and mermaid suits ($10,000).