Built in 1897 in the Elizabethan Renaissance Revival style by renowned architect Clarence True, this brick and limestone mansion occupies a 43-foot-wide lot, not in Forest Hills or Riverdale, but at 323 West 80th Street on the Upper West Side. The New York Post writes that the owners, a Broadway producer who ran the downtown rock club the Bitter End and his wife, Donna, a casting director who happens to be the sister of Bernadette Peters, bought the house–then a rundown SRO–for $170,000 in the 1970s. Even then, they could see the potential in this grand, gothy 10,000-square-foot palace, at the time carved up into 20 rooms. A few years have passed, but we can’t help but wonder if they imagined they’d list the spruced-up house, complete with garage, elevator and enchanted garden, for almost $20 million.
The couple commandeered fellow set-designers and other theater folk to pitch in, and together the crew spent two years and $200,000 renovating the six-story landmarked building “practically from scratch,” creating nine apartments and a suitably impressive 3,000-square-foot owner’s duplex with a double-height salon.
Custom details include enormous arched doorways, herringbone floors, a fireplace with a stone mantel salvaged from a garbage pile and a grand stairway constructed by a set designer. Donna made the home’s stained glass windows after taking a class in the craft.
Extra parquet floors were turned into a dining table. Though there are four floors of apartments to be filled, the home will be delivered vacant, but certainly not devoid of old-world charm.
As mentioned, an elevator serves all six floors from the full-height basement to the enchanted roof garden. That, the rare and covetable garage, and the home’s location on a tree-lined park block in the Riverside-West End Historic District would make this listing worth a look to many a big-ticket buyer–but it’s not likely to attract the Billionaire’s Row type. And the home’s next owner will likely have plans for it as grand as the house itself.
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- Amy Schumer checks out a five-floor $15M Riverside Drive mansion
- Gilded-Age Riverside Drive Mansion With Basement Pool Returns to the Market for $20M
Images courtesy of Compass.
Neighborhoods : Upper West Side