The East of Eden estate in Bar Harbor. Credit: Courtesy of the Knowles Company

A Gilded Age waterfront mansion in Bar Harbor was sold last weekend for less than a third of its original asking price.

East of Eden, a 12,500-square-foot home located just off Route 3 between Hulls Cove and Bar Harbor, sold at auction on Saturday to Portland-based real estate developer Art Girard and his wife, Fran, for $4.1 million, more than $10 million less than the property’s original asking price of $15 million.

The assessed value of the property, is $5.1 million, according to Bar Harbor’s assessment records.

East of Eden was on the market for two years and last listed at $12.5 million before the previous owners last month chose to sell the building at auction. The Girards were one of nine registered bidders on the property.

The Ellsworth American reported that Girard purchased the building for $4.1 million, plus a buyer’s premium of $451,000. Girard intends to sell the building for exactly what he paid for it — about $4.6 million — and require that the buyer donate $400,000 to two Maine nonprofits: the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland in Westbrook and the University of New England in Biddeford.

Credit: The Knowles Company

East of Eden is one of just a handful of Bar Harbor mansions that survived the Great Fire of 1947. It was built in 1910 in the Beaux Arts and Mediterranean Revival styles, and was one of many grand estates built during the Gilded Age by wealthy Mount Desert Island summer residents — which included members of the Rockefeller, Astor, Ford, Milliken, Pulitzer and Vanderbilt families. At the time, it cost $97,200 to build and was built by “150 Italian workers.”

The property was most recently owned by William B. Ruger Jr., whose father had made a fortune designing and manufacturing firearms.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.