MONROE, N.C. – It is eight bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, two full kitchens, a movie theatre, an elevator, gym, pool, ballroom floor and wine cellar.
That is just some of what’s inside North Carolina’s largest private residence.
It all belongs to Arthur and Charlotte Mott. They moved from Long Island 15 years ago looking for a slower pace of life for their four children. On 20 acres of land in Union County they built a 24,000 square foot home that gets plenty of attention.
“A lot of people will stop and look and they are curious, you know. It’s like ‘I wonder what’s behind there,’” said Charlotte Mott.
People also want to know how they can afford such a home. The family business is real estate. They own 31 apartment buildings in the New York area.
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For Arthur, the house is about much more than proof of his success. It also reminds him of how far he has come.
“It’s a sign of wealth. It’s a nice feeling. I love coming home and driving up that driveway. I love walking around the perimeter of the house. When I was a boy, probably six, seven or eight years old, I was the oldest of six children and we all slept together in one bed,” Arthur Mott said.
He describes his family as the poorest of the poor. There were days when they simply had nothing to eat. At school he received free lunch. The desperation of those times is what drove him in life.
“Looking back, what caused me to achieve success was I was so down and out. Poverty is such a terrible, terrible thing (and it) left me in depression. I couldn’t find a way out but that depression and that level of poverty, it forced me to achieve something else. If I didn’t have that poverty I wouldn’t be here.”
He is unapologetic about the excessiveness of his home. While there’s plenty to do and see in the main house, it is just the beginning of the estate. Walk outside and you can swim or relax around the pool, hang out in a luxurious barn which has room for eight horses or just walk around acres of beautifully landscaped property.
Charlotte says after all these years the house is still nice but it’s the land she loves most.
“This is why I wouldn't want to move. It's not the house itself but this property is so God-like that when I walk out here I just feel very peaceful.”
But for Arthur, it is about the house, though he said he’s not defined by it.
“It’s visible. It doesn’t say anything yet it speaks lots of words. I have to tell you that life has paid me back in full.”