Above the Clouds at The Greenbrier

Photo by Gardner Gillespie
Gillespie home on Greenbrier Mountain
Gillespie home on Greenbrier Mountain

Private golf course, The Snead, near Howard's Creek (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Private golf course, The Snead, near Howard's Creek

“We’d been going on and off for years,” said Gardner Gillespie, a Washington, D.C. attorney. It was the summer of 2010 when he was playing golf with his wife Stevie that The Greenbrier put the Gillespies "with a guy who had a house there. We weren’t even aware you could buy a house.” Stevie asked if they could take a tour of a few houses around Howard's Creek and up on The Summit.

On the path to The Summit Lodge (Photo by: Judith Beermann) On the path to The Summit Lodge

"Up on The Summit … Wow, we could design a house there? Hadn’t occurred to us. What a fabulous thing to do.” What Gillespie was referring to is the top of Greenbrier Mountain, 3,300 feet above the famed Greenbrier resort nestled in the Allegheny Mountains.

"We had our own idea, a little different from the other houses," Gillespie explained. "We built the house in seven months 150 feet below the top of The Summit. The house is a reference to old barns structures and the Shaker-inspired simplicity of Hugh Newell Jacobsen (incidentally an internationally acclaimed Georgetown architect).

Rear exterior of Gillespie home (Photo by: Gardner Gillespie) Rear exterior of Gillespie home

The Gillespies eventually decide on architects Justine Kingham (D.C.) and Madison Spencer (Charlottesville, Virginia). Thrilled with the design, the Gillespie family was also "so impressed by the local tradesmen and builders."

Gillespie living room (Photo by: Gardner Gillespie) Gillespie living room

Part of the attraction, Gillespie said, was buying a piece of property overlooking 35 miles of wilderness, with cool mountain air in the summer and all the amenities of The Greenbrier.

View from Gillespie home (Photo by: Gardner Gillespie) View from Gillespie home

Driving to their "home above the clouds" now as often as they can (which means twice a month), this Alexandria, Virginia couple has two grown children, three grandchildren and "one on the way" who are all excited by the family's new mountain retreat.

This "fishing family" who also golf, swim and play tennis had been enjoying the Greenbrier vacation lifestyle for many years, but until they'd actually seen the private homes and land for sale around The Greenbrier, purchasing a second home was not something they'd ever considered.

"In 2010 when we fell in love with property, Jim Justice had already rescued The Greenbrier, and was building the casino. We knew The Greenbrier was in good hands."

From the Gillespie screened porch (Photo by: Gardner Gillespie) From the Gillespie screened porch

Access to all The Sporting Club facilities also surprised us," said Gillespie. "We had no idea that we had access to the pool, golf courses, squash courts and climbing wall. That infinity pool on the summit is our neighborhood pool!" Besides that, he added, "The restaurant is fabulous and now we even have miniature golf on The Summit."

View from Greenbrier Mountain (Photo by: The Greenbrier Sporting Club) View from Greenbrier Mountain

"It's quite something to arrive up here and not see any man-made structures. Eight minutes below are four golf courses."

The Greenbrier Sporting Club is a private residential sporting community and equity club on the 6,750-acre grounds of the legendary Greenbrier, developed by the Greenbrier Hotel Corporation. Members enjoy access to an array of private amenities including a Members’ Lodge, award-winning golf at The Snead – an 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed golf course, Eastern-inspired spa (Ananda in theAlleghenies), full-service equestrian center, sports complex with infinity pool, indoor squash courts and 25-foot climbing wall. Members also indulge in exclusive mountaintop amenities at Greenbrier Summit Village and so much more. Home ownership at The Greenbrier Sporting Club also means complete access to more than 50 amenities and activities at The Greenbrier resort, including three championship golf courses, The Greenbrier, The Old White TPC and The Meadows.