Known as the Sherman Fairchild Mansion, the extraordinary modern-fronted townhouse at 17 East 65th Street is one of those New York City sights that might stop you in your tracks in the middle of an otherwise sedate Upper East Side sidewalk. The current façade of this five-story home was designed by William Hamby and George Nelson in 1940 for brilliant and prolific aviation pioneer/inventor Sherman Fairchild (well-known architect Michael Graves was commissioned to design yet another facade for the home in 1979, but that version was never built). The 25-foot-wide, 9,440 square-foot modern townhouse has been on and off the market since 2014; it’s currently asking $40,000. While the home’s exterior is provocative and unique–especially given the Upper East Side location a block from Central Park–the interiors, which have undergone a thorough renovation by the current owner, noted Renaissance art dealer Martin Zimet of French & Company, are yet another surprise.
An innovative original design split the townhouse into two sections occupying the front and back of the 100-foot lot. The home’s most notable feature is a series of glass-enclosed ramps that connect a colossal great room spanning four levels in between the two sections.
The five-bedroom home has a fifth-floor loft with a vaulted ceiling capped by a skylight that comprises almost the entire roof. The design lends itself perfectly to displaying a major art collection.
Rooms are nothing if not dramatic, with swirling crimson-accented floors and walls and curtains in surreal chintz patterns carried through into bedrooms and baths.
The kitchen and dining area are classic Upper East Side–circa 1987–mirrored walls and all.
Bedrooms and baths, as mentioned, are enormous in size and proportion and loaded with chintz, marble, mirror and more of the same.
The Real Deal quotes Zimet, who is 86 and moved into the house in 1970: “We’re putting it on the market because it doesn’t have an elevator. There are no secrets, there are no problems.” He doesn’t recall what he paid for it at the time.
[Listing: 17 East 65th Street by Randy Baruh and Leighton Candler for Corcoran Group]
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Photos courtesy of Corcoran Group.
Tags : 17 east 65th Street, French & Company, George Nelson, Sherman Fairchild, townhouses, William Hamby
Neighborhoods : Upper East Side