Courtesy Austin-American Statesman
Down in Austin, reporters are camped out in front of Lance Armstrong’s 8000 square foot, Spanish-style villa on one acre with tall stone walls and iron gates, awaiting a glimpse or even a quote after his news shattering interview with Oprah Winfrey. Armstrong, a Plano native, lives at 3404 Foothill Terrace, a gorgeous part of Austin. The home is valued by Travis County at about $3.5 million, and has been known to use a lot of water. He previously owned one of the most fabulous ranches in Dripping Springs called Mirasol Ranch at 560 Deadman’s Hole in Hays County, foothills to the Texas Hill Country. He also owns a home in Aspen, Colorado and enjoys one in Hawaii plus New York and Spain at one time or another. I’m actually thrilled He’s such a collector of homes!
Photo Courtesy Architectural Digest
Architectural Digest’s Nancy Collins did a scrumptious write-up on Foothill Terrace in July 2008. He describes his home as his haven, says he likes to get barefoot and feel the floor:
“When I walk into that house, I heave a sigh of relief: I am home. I take off my shoes, walk around barefoot, just feeling the rugs, floors. Home is very private; here, nobody’s going to mess with me.”
Unlike most athletes who line their walls with jerseys and trophies, Armstrong’s walls, says Collins, triumph art over sports — well except on the walls of an upstairs media room few see.
“Other than some bikes in the garage, you wouldn’t know who lives here. My kids and I certainly never discuss all that. Obviously, they know Dad was a bike racer who won the Tour de France, but they also know that my main job now is cancer advocate—which is how I’d rather have them see it.”
Armstrong is an incredibly devoted family man, including his ex-wife, Kristin Armstrong, with whom Collins pens he has amicable joint custody. (Well, there are five kids!) He told her he bought the 40 year old home for his five children to fulfill his dream of “big open rooms…people sitting on the floor…the kids having friends over. The greatest sound in the world is children laughing.”
The outdoors was also a huge factor: lots of grass for kids to run on, roll in.
“I wanted things on an axis, so we created probably 10 different points from which you can look out on the line. Standing in the family room, you stare straight into the fountain; by the pool cabana your eye gets pulled all the way down the row of Italian cypress trees, and you think, I need to walk down there.”
Armstrong sold Mirasol, after cutting the price down from it’s original $12 million asking price to $8.5 million. I believe it sold in 2011, but correct me if I am wrong. Mirasol is a stunning 447.8 acre ranch that includes ownership in Deadman’s Hole, a famous natural swimming hole boasting a giant natural waterfall. The spring water is clean and clear as only Hill Country water can be, and the hole can only be used or accessed by the 17 deedholders on the street, Deadman’s Hole. .
The home on the property, which was built by Armstrong in 2003, boasts 4300 square feet with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, and includes stained concrete floors, stone walls, beamed ceilings, a totally gourmet kitchen and a wall of nano doors that can slide away completely to connect the indoors to the outdoors. I think Champs D’Or had these also. There is 1 bedroom, 1 bath stone guest house, a heated and cooled workshop with full bath, spa, and a negative edge pool bordered by fire pits. You are in Dripping Springs, the beginning of Texas Hill Country splendor and just an hour from Fredericksburg. But you never have to leave, or at least Lance didn’t: there are seven miles of hiking and biking trails, frontage on a flowing river, and paved roads. Perfect to train for the next race.