The Biggest House

Not Chas(t)e.
The Chase Mansion, West Hartford

I see it every day

Septemeber 2012 Update: I’ve met Mr. Chase. He’s a very down to earth, intelligent and unassuming guy. He also loves CTMQ and has certainly read this page. He also likes that I “tell it like it is” on this site which left me in the odd position of – “So should I be a bit nicer on the page about his house or will he then think I’m a simp?” Life is a funny thing.

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September 2011 Update: As you’ll see in the comments below, this post has generated a lot of differing opinions. Several commenters make the point that Mr. Chase can build whatever the heck he wants (which I don’t deny) and that he worked for his money and, most importantly, that he is a HUGE philanthropist. None of this is deniable. Especially now, as an unsolicited Mr. Chase himself has donated generously to the Smith-Magenis Syndrome Research Foundation – for which Hoang and I hosted the Dream for Damian fundraiser this week. A huge thank you to Mr. Chase. I wonder if he’s seen this page? If so, please contact me! I may still think you’re house it too big, but you sir, are a wonderful man.

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While I’m in Connecticut Magazine this month for this blog, and Hoang and I were in the Courant yesterday for being able to cook, this house is featured in the Courant today (2/5/10) for getting a $100K tax bill.

chase1.jpeg
I figured this called for a giant image.

Your first thought upon seeing this is, “Um. It’s a big house, so what?” And that’s fair… Until I tell you the Arnold Chase Mansion up on Avon Mountain (which is actually called Talcott Mountain) off of Route 44 is… The biggest house in the history of the universe! Or at least close enough.

Excessive waste and sheer selfish stupidity are two traits in fellow humans I abhor. 51,000 square foot houses, if not providing shelter to 100,000 needy children, are both excessively wasteful and selfishly stupid. And I have one not more than a couple miles from my doorstep!*

*A doorstep which is in front of a house that can fit over 28 times inside this hulking lunacy.

In the winter, at least until Mr. Chase plants some full grown firs to replace the thousands of trees he killed to build, I can actually see this place from my neighborhood. He clear-cut a very, very large swath at the top of the mountain that separates my town from Avon. The mansion is within a third of a mile from this beautiful area. There is nothing redeeming about this to me.

But others disagree, like the author of The Good Life blog, Maria Palma who wrote, “Just imagine having a 33,500 square foot basement complex with a 103-seat movie theater! Hmm…now that’s The Good Life!” Ms. Palma’s definition of “good” is vastly different than mine, that’s for sure.

chase2.jpg
Here’s my shot, while driving by on the main road – this guy says he wants “privacy” and yet, he chopped off a mountain top so we could see his vainglorious ode to himself.

On the flipside, a visit to treehugger, we get a different take from their article, “Wretched excess.” My favorite commenter wrote, “I have visited several “museums” in the past that were originally built as private homes (Viscaya in Miami is one). They have the common quality of being so ridiculously large that the decendents of the original owner can’t afford to pay the property taxes, so they graciously donate it to the government… At least this future public museum already has a movie theatre with concession stand built in.”

Good one. And the property taxes in West Hartford are some of the highest in a state with some of the highest in the country. Chase has serious money.

Real news outlets reported on this mess too, like The Associated Press, for one (excerpted):

The enormity of the house Arnold Chase is building on Avon Mountain isn’t fully apparent from the outside, where only 17,000 square feet of it lies in plain view.

It’s the two-level, 33,500-square-foot basement complex, complete with a 103-seat movie theater, ticket booth, concession stand, game room and music annex, that will make it New England’s largest occupied single-family home. At nearly 50,900 square feet, the Chase home will be slightly larger than billionaire Bill Gates’ home in Washington, about 4,000 square feet smaller than the White House and 20 times larger than the average-size home in America.

chasescar.jpg
A good idea of the Chase mansion’s ridiculousness

…[Chase] refused an interview and had a freelance photographer seeking permission to photograph the house for The Associated Press cited for trespassing…

Some question the morality of building a private home that large.

“Do you actually need to have that amount of space to live a good life?” said Susan A. Eisenhandler, a sociology professor at the University of Connecticut. “There are homeless people. There are impoverished people. There are serious social concerns, and we’re not addressing that.”

The only single-family residential structures in New England larger than Chase’s are two mansions in Newport, which are now museums and no longer occupied…”

I like this too – have you ever seen a house so big that the best resolution from GoogleMaps didn’t capture it all? Now you have!

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For the curious

There it is, smack in the middle on top of the mountain

71 responses to “The Biggest House”

  1. Rob says:

    That’s obscene.

  2. Rob Y says:

    I drive past it every day. Truly ridiculous, so the fine for simple trespassing is $77, when do you want to sneak in and snap a CT Museum Quest pic on the front stoop???

    I’m game if you are!!! I have a spare Conservation International” T-shirt I’d be happy to gift wrap and leave for him.

  3. dick hemenway says:

    Once again, Shakespeare’s words give us some insight into our world today – Act II, Scene IV, of King Lear: Lear: “O, reason not the need: our basest beggars Are in the poorest thing superfluous: Allow not nature more than nature needs, Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s: thou art a lady; If only to go warm were gorgeous, Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear’st, Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need,– You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!”

    Your reference to the Newport Mansions was dead on. That was an age of excess, when status was gained by conspicuous consumption. I would offer the opinion that we are living in a similiar age of selfish excess, and have been since the “me first” Reagan years, spurned by supply-side economics, with its “trickle-down” effects. Due to the affluence of the 90′s, most of America has been on a spending binge that has gone far beyond our needs.

    What do we need huge cars, mounted on truck frames, with 18 cup holders, tv screens, seats bigger than sofas and engines that get around 8 miles to the gallon for when we all got along fine with sub-compacts for years. What do we need $150 sneakers and $100 jeans (pre-ripped and worn out) for. The list is long and revealing of our values as a society.

    This mansion is just a more visible example of a pervasive characteristic of our modern American culture, with each person indulging in selfish excess according to their means (ignoring, by the way, the effect of it on the rest of world). If they had more means, they would indulge on more excess regardless of the “need.”

  4. honeybunny says:

    Pffft! :karatechop:

    hb

  5. CTXGuide says:

    The Metacomet Trail probobly runs right by this guys property. I have been looking for an overnight camping spot in that exact area for backpacking the trail. Unfortunately, both the public and private landowners have been turning a cold shoulder to the cause. Maybe this dude would be willing to offer up a concession for building a strip-mall of a home where nature once stood… a concession in the shape of a free public camping area perhaps?

    This topic also brings up another of my pet pieves. Land Trusts are great ways to save nature, but they are also greatly limiting available land for building. This has the side-effect of increasing the cost of owning a home and making it fairly impossible for average Joes to become home owners. I’m not saying that I’m against land trusts, just stating an observation. Now this guy uses up land for what not only could have been a moderate land trust, but property for what could have been 20 seperate homes. Nature as well as property for new homes (plural) has now become a bit more scarce.

  6. PearlBlackDragon says:

    I wonder if Chase knows that by building this monstrosity he is breaking two of the new deadly sins.
    -Ruining the environment
    -The excessive accumulation of wealth
    Good job Chase!

  7. chick110 says:

    This reminded me of a favorite oddity that we used to take all our relatives to when they came to visit us in San Jose. We used to go to the Winchester Mystery House where Sarah built obsessively because the ghosts told her to. Many, many hallways leading nowhere, cabinets an inch thick, stairs an inch tall and going on and on all in the “correct” numbers. Eventually Sarah died, so the building stopped. Maybe we all should keep this guy off our death lists so he’ll be sure to die soon.

  8. HicksPub says:

    Eh, karma will catch up with him. Perhaps he’ll end up living in a thimble. In hell.

  9. VB Runner says:

    DISGUSTING! Who needs a cajillionaire house like that???? This man has seriously exited reality. How about putting your excessive wealth to good use–feed some starving countries, help the homeless, fund cancer research……oh, wait, that would mean he would have to think of someone other than himself! Okay, maybe I’m being a little harsh. Since I know nothing about him, other than that he is building a garishly enourmous abode, I should cut him a little slack. He probably has made some charitable donations (to claim as tax deductions). :)

  10. Keri says:

    Disgusting, unnecessary, dispicable, selfish, greedy….Typical Overly-Wealthy American?

    No, VB, you’re not too harsh.

    Other than the beautiful landscape (which wankers like this guy obviously have NO concern for),Willimantic Brewery and other oddities (you forgot Gravity Hill in Sterling CT, Old Trinity Church in Brooklyn and That haunted insane asylum in Willington…..) I wanna leave CT!!!!

  11. bill says:

    when i have money like that, i’m going to buy a neighborhood and level it. way cooler than just taking down trees.

    and no heliport? what a poser!

  12. bill says:

    drove home tonight and every light in that place was on. i could live on his electric bill.

  13. sanity says:

    What do you have against someone building a house?

    You assert that if a home is not sheltering 2 orphans per square foot, it is obscene.

    Is it fair to assume that you are housing your 3,600 orphan quota, then?

    Why not just grow up, and stop complaining about how some people happen to have a bit more money than you? Certainly, it is no large crime of justice that you are not the wealthiest man in the world.

  14. Steve says:

    Dear Ironically Named Sanity,

    Why am I complaining? I thought I summed that up with the sentence, “Excessive waste and sheer selfish stupidity are two traits in fellow humans I abhor.”

    Do you have any concept how large this house is? It is nearly the size of the White House. For two old people.

    Chase certainly has the right to build this monstrosity, but it is also my right to call him an idiot.

  15. Andrew says:

    How many time zones are there in the place?

  16. Rami says:

    This family donates a lot of money to various charities. Don’t hate the guy because he built a huge house and he wants it, why not?

  17. ctderek says:

    how about the men in ely pond below clearing all the weeds everyday for these big mansions

  18. Michelle says:

    I am not jealous like the way you think it sounds from the different responses. I believe that is the case with most if not all the “haters” but This really is crazy. Come on
    Why spend this money when the economy is the way it is. It just looks really bad.

  19. JOE HORVATH says:

    i UNDERSTAND WHAT Y’ALL ARE TALKING ABOUT. I DESIGNED THE IRRIGATION SYSTEM AND SOME OF THE LANDSCAPE AND KNOW THE SITE LIKE THE BACK OF MY HAND. THIS SITE IS EXTREMELY IMPRESSIVE. ITS NICE TO HAVE MONEY…LOL I WAS THERE LAST WEEK AND IT TOOK ME HOURS TO WALK THE SITE AND PUT SOME FINAL TOUCHES ON THE PROJECT. ANYONE INTERESTED SHOOT ME AN EMAIL AND ILL SEND YOU THE PDF OF THE SITE PLAN

    JOE HORVATH
    DESIGNER – BLUE FOX DESIGN SERVICE
    WEST HARTFORD, CT

  20. Ben says:

    The Chase family is one of the largest donators to charity in the state. David Chase came to this country as a penniless holocaust survivor, and now his family has a vast amount of wealth, which they use both to benefit the world and use for themselves (pretty typical, I’d say). Say what you like, but in my opinion it isn’t fair for us to yell at him for spending his own money and chopping down trees to build his home, because all of our homes were purchased and land needed to be cleared to create them. Sure, it’s a much larger scale, but everything is relative. There are homeless people in America living on a dollar a day who would look at our homes and say, ‘how could anyone build such a monstrosity!” You have a right to bash the Chases for having money, but just remember that there are just as many people who would bash you for your wealth just by living in suburban Connecticut.

  21. Steve says:

    Why would I bash Chase for being rich? I’ve not done that here. While his philanthropy is to be commended, I urge you to really take in how ridiculously immense this house is. It’s as big as the White House!

    No matter how one slices it, the Chase mansion is a wasteful ode to ego-driven madness.

  22. Chris says:

    Selfish? Wasteful? Ego? Ridiculous?

    Look at you all spitting jealousy at someone who is successful and is doing rightly what they have earned … The house is barely finished and the landscaping hasn’t even started to be developed. I’m sure he will plant trees and make the yard beautiful just as the house is. The landscape was barren and full of mostly dead trees and vines….

    He has donated more money than any of you will probably make in your lifetime COMBINED. He started out with nothing, such as myself, and worked his way to where he is. Every time I see his house (and I live about 1/4 mile from him) I think about what it’s like to start from the very bottom, and to succeed into what he has.

    Drive around the mansions of LA for a while and look around–drive down Balfour Drive in West Hartford – some would say those are big and ridiculous…. Just because you SEE it every day driving by…

  23. Steve says:

    He’s actually maintaining a giant monoculture lawn, watered daily by miles of in-ground sprinklers. I guess that’s better than what you claim was “mostly dead trees and vines” – which is perhaps the most absurd thing any of the Chase apologists have claimed.

    Arnold Chase is indeed a very generous man. I’m not sure how many times I can state that.

  24. Chris says:

    It will take time for the landscaping to grow in, but if you look at it from the Google satellite you can see MANY MANY trees that were planted.

  25. BillieJean says:

    I drive by this everyday and am still amazed at it…cant help but take your eyes off the road. In all honesty, it is ridiculous! Talk about showing off what you have. Being successful is great but having to show yourself off with a home of almost 51k sq. ft. on top of a mountain is unreal and absolutely insane! Just because you are able to doesn’t mean you must flaunt it. And why keep every light on in the house because you can afford it? What about conservation of energy people?!

  26. Boe says:

    Mr. Chase may indeed be quite a philanthropist and that is commendable. But that’s a big azz house – which begs the question…”did he really build it for himself and his family, or did he build it so the public could comment incessantly on it?”

  27. will says:

    the guy has money so what! Last time I looked democtats did not lemit how much one person could make!!!!!!!

  28. RobM says:

    Well Steve, thankfully everyone else has the right to call you an idiot as well. So the man built a very nice house. So what. He lives in a society that is capitalistic and he can do as he pleases. And he should be able to do as he pleases. This is a free country, and I am proud to live here. If you don’t like it, move to Canada….and don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

  29. frugal freak says:

    What a hero! We are in a consumer driven economy and the chase family has created jobs for all these carpenters, heating contractors, building supply stores etc. He will be paying average people who may be otherwise utilizing unemployment to run the household, cook, clean, security guards, landscaping, run the movie theater. These will be manual labor jobs… no higher education required. He will be paying huge taxes to the town for them to educate the children and take care of the elderly. And then the town will likely sometime in the future be given this house to become a major money making tourist attraction. I think this house is just what we need right now…jobs… so you can prosper as a by-product of his well funded fantasy and you will be able to take care of your own families and develop your own dreams. I am sure he will be a great person to work for. Embrace him Connecticut! He is giving you more than you understand.

  30. christine says:

    If Obama can pledge 120 million of the tax payers money (money that we don’t have) to Haiti, then I guess it’s not so obscene to build a super structure to continue to line the pockets of those who need it the least.

  31. Henry Jacobs says:

    David Chase, whose money built that house, rose from a door to door salesman holocaust survivor to a mega-wealthy businessman. He went from living in a small apartment in New Britain to being able to build a castle.
    He had guts, creative instincts and a natural flair for financial success.
    What he lacked was a heart. He would take the last dollar from a friend or an unsuspecting person foolish enough to trust him. He was so driven to be Ozymandias that he put his better side away in favor of ruthlessness. Like other financial barons, he preferred a legacy of ostentatious wealth to one of kindness, compassion and generosity. The public donations are a mere form of public relations. “Look upon my works O ye mighty and despair…”

  32. Tony says:

    I agree with Chris. I live in walking distance from his home and it is great. Good for him! Build a bigger home if that what makes you happy Mr. Chase. It drives my property value up! A ++ Pal. Also for all of you people complaining about the size…and its the size of the white house. All garbage. All the homes YOU live in…people took those trees down as well. Just because you cant build a bigger home do not rain on an individual who worked his ass off to provide that for people in his life. You have no idea his financial background, his power or the contribution that has come out of his pocket. And one last thing for all you people who say “donate to the hungry”. You should donate to the hungry and dont spend other peoples hard earned coin. All the money in the world cant help so back off! Cheers to Chase and welcome to the hood my friend!

  33. Steve says:

    Please explain to the rest of us dummies how Chase’s mansion drives up your property value. Just curious.

  34. Tony says:

    Maybe im wrong steve….but when you live on the same road and there are equally as nice of homes if not nicer it makes your road more appealing/desirable and people want to live here. Who wouldnt want to buy property in this area opposed to some random road where homes are in “fix up condition.”

  35. Abby says:

    This house could easily be the biggest house. But anyone could build a huse bigger.

  36. Rachel says:

    The Chase family, as others have said, have made countless donations and contributions with their money. As it was also said above, Dave, Arnold’s father, came to the US as a survivor of the Holocaust PENNILESS. He became a successful business man from working hard. So HOW DARE YOU PUT THEM DOWN!!! No one is yelling at you for what you spend your money on. So why do you give a damn what Arnold and Sandy are spending theirs on? Sorry you aren’t as successful. Sorry you’re jealous of them. Talking shit just makes you look stupid and jealous. Mind your business and keep their names out of your idiotic mouth. Act like an adult… you can complain all you want, but all you’re really conveying is that you’re insecure and jealous. Stop complaining about Arnold and Sandy, and do something productive with your life. Why don’t you do something for yourself instead of putting others down? Don’t you have better things to do with your time?

    Arnold, I’m sorry these losers have nothing better to do with their time than try to knock you down a few pegs. I’m proud of you for doing something you want with what you’ve earned. I know in my heart that down the line the house will probably end up being used for good causes, as that is what the Chase family always has been about– giving back to the community! Keep doing you :)

    And in case anyone is wondering why I know so much, it’s because I’m a relative of the family, and no I don’t have money like they do, but you don’t see me acting like a jealous immature prick do you?? I have a lot of respect for them because not only are the successful, but they are ALWAYS giving back to the community.

    SO HATERS HOP OFF! DO YOU!!!!

  37. Steve says:

    Rachel, if Chase built this thing to one day become a museum, he should say so.

    I’m tired of noting that Mr. Chase has been a wonderful benefactor to the town and elsewhere. I also have no idea what his father’s terrible tribulations have to do with the monstrosity on the hill.

    Regardless, as the writer of this site, I have a CT Bucket List and one of the things on that list to get inside the mansion (as it’s a CT superlative). So if you can make that happen, and by all accounts Mr. Chase is a wonderful guy, perhaps together we can change some minds.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Excuse me, but my parents happen to be friends with Mr. Chase’s sister and brother-in-law, and I don’t appreciate the fact that you are being prejudiced and unfair You don’t know the man at all! I feel, that you are just jealous of Mr. Chase and his incredible house.

  39. Steve says:

    Anonymous, do you know Rachel? If so, please pass along my previous comment here.

    The only thing incredible about the house is how incredibly wasteful and ostentatious it is. Please note, this certainly doesn’t mean that Mr. Chase isn’t a wonderful guy; just that he has an ugly house that is inconceivably large.

  40. the realist says:

    Oh, boo-hoo, he has a big house.
    It’s not the end of the world!

    This Mr. Chase guy obviously did something right in his life to have the money to build his house, who are you to tell him what he spends his money on?
    If he wants a huge house and he can afford it, I say go for it. He worked for the money, and he can spend it on whatever he wants.

    Since when is it a bad thing to have money? I’m sorry this guy worked harder than you and makes tons of money and shows that off.. But when has he done anything to you? I’d be willing to bet he hasn’t. He’s minding his own business, maybe you should do the same.

    That seems to be the problem, people write things like this, criticizing the rich because they have money, instead of doing something important with your lives to make some yourself and spend it the way you want to;
    Maybe you won’t buy a big house, and that’s fine. Maybe you would donate it to charities, which is great. Stated in earlier comments, the Chase family have made many donations. They’re not only thinking of themselves like many of you. So again, who are you to criticize? They’re making more of a difference than you are. Maybe you should learn more about your topics before making such idiotic posts.

  41. Jack says:

    It’s nobody’s business what he spends his money on. You didn’t earn it. You don’t deserve a cent. All you higher than life people with no flaws wouldn’t let anyone touch a cent of your money if you had it.
    Tired of you people. You’re ruining the world with your forced redistribution and theft from the producers.
    Who cares what he can afford to give. If I were him I wouldn’t give a cent unless someone can give me a service in exchange.

  42. Shere says:

    If you really want to see how the wealthy spend their money come to So Ca. There are more millionaires &
    billionaires anywhere in the US. Mansions on the Newport Coast go for multimillions. I would rather invest my money in God’s work where it does the most good winning souls for eternity. Money can’t buy your way into
    heaven. We all have to be accountable for how we use the talents & money God allows us to earn. If this monstrosity of indulgence makes chase happy or feel better about himself go for it. Material things don’t
    satisfy. I applaud his family for their giving spirit especially his parents however.

  43. Rich says:

    Nothing wrong here. They earned the money from creating value for others. If you don’t believe me try putting the shoe on the other foot. They received the money from other people like you. Do you usually give away your money for worthless things so that people can build big houses? Most likely not if you can help it!!!

    Notice too that not everybody has that amount of money, why? Because one has to provide a lot of value in order for others to part with their hard earned cash and give it to the person!

    Building that house provides taxes so that people with 2, 3 or more kids can pay a measley 5k per year total in property taxes to send them to school. What a deal! I say build more big houses so the schools can have even more money. Also, the people who built that house are surely glad to have construction jobs, as well as the many service workers who will be needed to take care of the house. It’s great news!

  44. Steve says:

    Fair points. Except when you learn that Mr. Chase “only” pays taxes on a 2.5 million dollar valuation instead of the 3.5 milliion dollars his mansion’s valuation actually is.

    So yeah, he’s paying $100K in taxes, $93K more than me. But heck, if I got the 30% tax break, I’d be paying significantly less.

    Thems the rich guy breaks, I guess. (Info)

  45. Rich says:

    Assessed values are typically 70% of actual value for everyone, so a 200K house would be assessed at only 140K.

  46. Shere says:

    Opinions are like A**Holes everyone has one. You sound like a bunch of jealous gossips. If you want this guys wealth work for it & quit bashing him. His house is his business. If you want to see a display of wealth visit So Ca Newport Coast,, those are what I consider over the top , making this house look like a Camp in the wilderness.

  47. Steve says:

    You sound like a bunch of jealous gossips.

    And you sound like someone who didn’t bother to read much of this page. Chase’s mansion, built on a mountain top for all the world below to gaze upon, is much, much bigger than any of those that will be swept out to sea within 50 years in CA.

  48. Noel RIVERA says:

    WELL DONT HATE. THIS MAN WHENT TO SCHOOL GOT HIS STUFF TO GETHER GOT REALLY RICH AND YOU CAN DO THE SAME AND GET MONEY JUST LIKE HIM OR EVEN MORE. BUT LET ME SAY THAT I AM NOR POOR BUT I GIVE HIM RESPECT AND IF I HAD THE MONEY HE HAS I WILL GIVE TO CHARITY LIKE HE DOES AND HE GIVE A LOT OF MONEY AND I WILL BUY A HOUSE PROBLELY BIGGER. WHEN YOU DIE THE MONEY DONT STAY WITH YOU. SO HAVE FUN AND PASS IT TO THE NEXT ONE CHASE.

  49. NCK says:

    I really like your site….but, this…well, I gotta disagree…to a point.
    IF, mr chase earned his money legally (and morally, a difference there) he is ENTITLED to do whatever he wants with his money. If he choses to build a huge testament to his vanity, so be it.

    Does he NEED this size house? No, but in reality, does a family of 4 NEED 1500 square foot ranch? No, really a person NEEDS very, very little. So ANYTHING above this need is simply luxury. You don’t NEED a garage, or tv, or AC……

    He simply has an EGO, and bankbook larger than most.

    Oh, and since I’ve lived in Hartford all my life, I’ve heard MANY things about Mr. Chase, aside from his humble beginnings, NOT MUCH of what I’ve heard is flattering

    BUT, he has the right to do whatever he wants with his money. And we all have the right to bash his choices…but, you and I BOTH know, if we are being absolutely honest with ourselves, that MOST of our anger (or whatever you want to call it) is from envy.

  50. NCK says:

    Oh, and unlike you, I really am not impressed with his philanthropy. Putting it into percentages, he gives very little of what he has. MANY people give MUCH more, when you consider how little they have.

    Think about it. $10M to him is NOTHING…..seriously, nothing.

    But, then again, maybe Im a bit skewed with all the bad things I’ve heard about him (and I realize its all hearsay).

  51. Sas says:

    Here’s a new article about Mr. Chase’s philanthropy.

  52. joe says:

    WOW! look at all the jealous losers on here commenting – i bet if YOU MADE YOURSELF A SELF-MADE FORTUNE, YOU MIGHT HAVE A LITTLE DIFFERNET PERSPECTIVE – You HATE, I sdee him as an inspiration, as a motivator to think :shit! I can do it! anyone can!” and I am working my way up — and then u get rediculous moron burn-out aging hippies who say dumbass shit like this: “Do you actually need to have that amount of space to live a good life?” said Susan A. Eisenhandler, a sociology professor at the University of Connecticut. “There are homeless people. There are impoverished people. There are serious social concerns, and we’re not addressing that.” <– WE'RE NOT ADDRESSING THAT?????? I'M PRETTY SURE THAT ITS BEEN DEMAGOGUED FOR 60+ YEARS AND NOW THESE DAYS ITS BEING DEMAGOGUED SO MUCH THAT I AM SO HARDENED TO IT THAT I SAY "F**K EM!!! CUT THEM OFF AND LET THEM FIGURE OUT THEIR OWN LIVES.. I DID… I WAS A FORMER ADDICT, TRIUMPHED OVER IT, BEEN CLEAN SINCE I WAS 22, NOW I AM 29 RUNNING MY OWN INVESTMENT FIRM…. I dont sit around and looka t hard working people and HATE THEM just because I am too lazy to work hard and achieve what they have…. ALL THSOE WHO HATE ARE LAZY SMALL-MINDED SELFISH JEALOUS ENVIOUS MORONS WHO PROBABLY LEAD A PATHETIC LIFE AND CONTRIBUTE NOTHING TO SOCIETY BUT THEY BITCH ENDLESSLY ABOUT SOCIETY…. SHUT UP, GO AWAY, AND DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE WITH YOUR LIFE…. But, you wont, and thats fine, because if you want to live a miserable pathetic life sucking on the tit of big-daddy Government and then die, that effects my life in no way whatsoever. I SAY, GOD BLESS THE CHASE FAMILY (And by the way, i went to highschool with his daughter, Sarah Chase, and they are a TALENTED FAMILY, A HARD WORKING FAMILY, A GENUINE AND GOOD AND DECENT FAMILY AND AS INDIVIDUALS… SO YOU ALL ARE SO SMALL-MINDED THAT YOU JUST HATE BECASE YOUR LIFE SUCKS AND YOU DONT WANT TO HAVE TO WORK HARD FOR A LONG TIME – YOU JUST WANT THINGS GIVEN TO YOU…. LIKE A BABY…. FOREVER LIVING LIKE AN INFANT…, HAVE FUN LOSERS!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

  53. CowboyPhil says:

    Who cares, it is his money and how he spends it is his business. I am appalled that people would call someone greedy that has done well for them self. I am not saying it is not what I would call excessive, but it is HIS money to do with as he pleases. No one should judge others, you have the right to spend your money anyway you like and so does this person. How much he has given to charity is irrelevant and really no ones business. Instead of focusing hatred toward others, just focus on what matters in your own life and not worry about how the wealth spend their money–FYI no I am not wealthy, but I do think everyone should be free to do with what they earned as long as they are doing no harm.

  54. Laura says:

    Maybe he built it so big so as not to have to see his wife that often!

  55. Joe says:

    Leave the guy alone. I drive by this house at least once a week as I live in West Hartford and shop at Big Y in Avon and my kids love seeing the house as we drive by on our way up the mountain. I understand people think that Mr. Chase should be giving so much more away than he does, but he can do what he wants and he gives plenty. Do I think it’s way too much house, absolutely, but he also earned it and he has a right to do what he wants and shouldn’t have everyone bugging him. If we didn’t live in a free enterprise system, which allows for people to make millions and millions of dollars, we’d be in a far worse place than we are now. I’m just hoping someday I’ll be able to get a tour with my kids of this beautiful place!

  56. Joe says:

    I have to agree with what the ‘other’ Joe said above. He’s so right. To think people put that much energy into writing something negative about the size of the house and the money spent on it, he/she could have done something for ‘society.’ And, what I’ve learned from my posting right above from just yesterday is that the Chase family gives tons of money to things in West Hartford and all over the state and the U.S. and many of which we don’t even know about. So, God bless them!

  57. Raoul says:

    I am a fan. I have no right to throw stones. It’s his money, he’s excessively generous, so go ahead and spend your money in CT. I wish I had that kind of success. Someone this successful doesn’t do foolish things, especially with money. If I had a complaint it would be that I am jealous. I live in Avon and I’m proud to have this family as my neighbor. Im sure many of these people will eat their own words some day. Congrats and thanks.

  58. SteveM says:

    Well I’m sorry but it is a waste. I work for this family in one of their enterprises and let me tell you the benefits suck (no sick or personal days), you get about 8-9 holidays each year and 5 days vacation. Not to mention our medical insurance requires you to spend the first $2000 in network out of pocket before BCBS will cover anything. and God forbid you go out of network then you have to spend the first $4000 out of pocket. So they may be giving to your community, but not to its peon employees.

  59. Green says:

    For contrast … you can read about this rich person’s choice to make a house “with all the amenities” that uses zero energy, and is a learning center for the local environmental organization on renewable energy.

    “On the kind of beautiful, relatively expensive property that this is, I knew that I couldn’t get away from the expectation that this site deserves a 5,000-square-foot McMansion,” Zahren told the Courant. “But what’s a McMansion? It’s just a big, cheaply built energy guzzler. I decided to prove that we could build a big house with great views, and all the amenities, that was a net-zero-energy structure.”

    http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/green-building-news/big-house-will-tap-wind-power-all-it-s-worth

  60. Jay says:

    With great wealth, you would hope the wisdom to use it wisely comes with it, including the understanding that signaling your worth through building palaces in your own honor when inequality and suffering have reached epic proportions is disgusting and small-minded in the extreme. Mr. Chase, get a clue. You may have worked hard for your fortunes, but that doesn’t mean you deserve a larger slice of the planet. Shame.

  61. Jay says:

    In Fine Homebuilding Magazine’s website, Mr. Chase has defended his massive structure as eco-friendly using many of the latest energy saving building methods, and it’s size necessary to host many charity fundraisers. While it’s laudable to use geo-thermal, insulate, and recycle construction debris, Mr. Chase does not care one square foot about the environment.

    He can claim he does, but while he pats himself on the back for his eco-friendliness, he is hosting a fundraiser for Republican candidate for Vice-President Paul Ryan at his mansion tomorrow, a man who is on the record as a climate change denier and an advocate of fossil fuel subsidies. Are these the types of “charities” Mr. Chase is serving?

    It makes NO SENSE for a man who cares about the environment to be raising money for climate change deniers.

    Arnold Chase, we are not fools.

  62. The Enviro Show says:

    Jay has about said it all. We can only add that the world not only doesn’t need another trophy house perched atop some hill for all the world to admire (not that we do), but also we don’t need a return of the Robber Barons who once built such monuments to their own…..magnificence? If you want more space to party, rent some resort and help the economy. If you want more space for all your collections, donate them to some museum. As for the trophy house being “green”…..ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha……

  63. Green3nergy says:

    Your comments have three things in common:
    The Chase family is one of the richest in the world and are principal partners in the Federal Reserve.

    The Rockefeller family is also one of the richest in the world and are principal partners in the Federal Reserve.

    Both families built absurdly grandiose mansions on the highest point in a geographic region.

    Kykuit in Mount Pleasant, NY. And now this one in West Hartford, CT. Both member families of the Federal Reserve.

  64. Ken Mahoney says:

    Gee- I think that man, Mr. Chase and his family can do whatever they want with their own land. I’m sure it is bought and paid for by his own due diligence and work ethic.
    So he built a tremendous home-what of it? It actually is quite pleasant to look at-which according to his landcaper won’t be at some point visible to the worker bees that travel up and down Avon Mountain. Enjoy the view while you can. It may not your dream to live in a large home-I wouldnt mind a few extra square footage–
    Think of the huge labor force of skilled workpeople-both men and women he gave a healthy amount of jobs not to mention the companies that supplied the materials, bricks, millwork, flooring, windows, locks, plumbig, electrical and the list goes on. Plus with a large home he needs to hire not just one or two people to maintain it but a staff for both inside and out. Somehow I dont think he shovels his own drive. nor cuts his grass.
    Applaude Mr.Chase for spending his monies here in CT. West Hartford must be thrilled to add that property to its tax base–bet they never ever have to send a patrol car to break up a wild party on the premises.
    I salute Mr. Chase and his wonderful sense of giving soo much back as well.

  65. Raheja says:

    Why are people so against his house? Is it illegal or something? Let the man live.

  66. Real Hartford » Public Support for Funding Carousel Renovations says:

    […] Arnold Chase was among those advocating this use of money. Identifying himself as a member of the “Bushnell Park carousel group,” Chase said that children enjoying themselves on the ride is more powerful than any marketing campaign. He called it a regional asset. […]

  67. Buffy says:

    Well, well, well Tony.. You are the exact example of what I call a douche bag with to much money. I understand property values, and the value of working the dollar for a better overall prophet. What you had said is utterly disgusting, and very insulting to the common working person. By the way, if it was not for the common working person, you would be eating the same dirt you find it OK to say it’s ok for them to eat. What makes you think you are better??? Please do answer.. Was it the Yale or Stamford education that daddy paid for, and your useless frat boy parties? Or was it the trust fund, and the business your pops worked his ass off in the day to pass off to his punk assed kid. People like you are a dime a dozen. Lets take away your bank roll, your cars, your ability to get a job on your name, your ability to cook or clean for yourself and see how you do. Oh wait, you pay people to do that right? Perhaps one day, you can look at your “helpers” in the eye and know exactly what it is like to raise a family in the top majority of this country. You are such a great role model. God forbid my property values fall.

  68. Jim James says:

    Talk about envy! All you commies thinking that Chase’s dollars or anyone else’s should be LESS valuable than yours? Last I knew Americans were free to work as much or as little as they want or need, they could then use it freely/legally, and there was no “set limit” of money they could make. After seeing all the Marxist comments here, I truly understand why America is in the dumpers with the current Marxist in the white house who rose based on class envy and the “Santa Claus” voters.

    So much for freedom! Just remember after you free lunchers “vote” our country into the communist Utopia that fits your definition of “fair”, you will miss the little things that seem trivial now such as that “obscene” latte which could be “better used” on a more worthy Stalist/obamunist “public good”. I am disappointed and disgusted by the economic ignorance, jealousy, and violence of the comments here more worthy of 1950s communist Russia or China.

  69. Daily Commuter says:

    I read all the comments and noticed that the guy named “Steve” has been active on this blog for several years. He’s taken time to respond to many of the pro-Chase comments. That is his perogative to do so, after all, it is HIS time, right? However, one might argue tthat all the time “Steve” has devoted to commenting on this blog could have been far better spent working at a shelter, or something else that would serve the public good.Griping and complaining about the Chase’s really doesn’t “do” anything for anyone, does it? If he is so consumed with the the moral issue of what he deems to be waste, could not one also argue that he is mutually wasteful with his own TIME? After all, time has value just as money does. What is he doing with his time? He clearly has excessive time on his hands. It would be nice to see him put down the devisive “pen” and use his hands towards something a bit more useful. No one needs Steve to “point out” to us how big the Chase home is. I see it every day! And guess what…it’s fine with me. And you know what, it’s fine too if Steve wants to “waste” his time commenting on everyone else’s opinion, which might include mine. It’s all part of living in a free country. The Chase’s wealth and property, etc, is NOT the reason why others live in squalor elsewhere. The fact that Steve is busy “online” blasting the Chase’s is not the reason why there is not enough help at the local food bank. We can blame each other all day long for the problems in society…but the best solution is to look in the MIRROR and see what YOU can do…everyone has something they can do to help someone else. It’s not up to us to put a measuring stick on what our neighbor or coworker does…
    Speaking of time better spent, I think I have things to do. As for the Chase house. I like it. The only thing I don’t like is the massive “No Tresspassing” sign at the gate…it takes away from the pretty gate that they built. But if they like it or feel they need it, than that’s fine. It’s their property. For the two seconds that I see it each day, I’m pretty sure my life will not be hindered by it, nor will any of yours.

  70. Steve says:

    Yeah!~ I even heard a rumor that “Steve” is also the guy who writes and maintains this very website for the last 8 years! What gives, “Steve?!”

    I also heard that this “Steve” character is personal friends with Mr. Chase and has shared a laugh with Mr. Chase about this very page. (Actually, I read that in the first two paragraphs on this page. You know, the one that actually links a fundraiser and non-profit organization that “Steve” devotes an enormous amount of time to, raising money for research for a very rare genetic syndrome. The one that Mr. Chase himself generously donated to in the past. And how this 1500 page massive website is more or less an advocacy program for special needs people all over.)

    But whatever, I’m sure “Steve” is a total bum.

  71. Dan Kehoe says:

    Does anyone know the Chase family well enough to know why Arnold (or was it David?) Chase hired me to play the Trinity College carillon in 1984 for the Star Spangled Banner sign-on/sign-off when WTIC-TV 61 launched? That rendition (with pictures of Ella Grasso because WTIC was in her memory and a Grasso son had worked with Chase) ran morning and night from 1984 until the early 1990s. But I never heard the whole story why the Chase family wanted the carillon to play the National Anthem instead of the Hartford Symphony, which was there at the kick-off in the old Hartford Hilton. You can re-live that here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwuWt6tNEYw

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