Stephen Sondheim’s Turtle Bay townhouse is on the market for $7M
Get More Info

Stephen Sondheim’s Turtle Bay townhouse is on the market for $7M

July 13, 2023

Photo credit: Compass

The Turtle Bay townhouse at 246 East 49th Street that was home to late songwriter Stephen Sondheim is now on the market, asking $7,000,000. The celebrated songsmith, who received eight Tonys, eight Grammys, an Oscar, and a Pulitzer for the iconic words and melodies to Broadway hits like “West Side Story,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” and many more, bought the historic townhouse in 1960. Sondheim needed the privacy of a townhouse, according to Curbed, so he could finesse melodies on the piano without bothering the neighbors.

The seven-bedroom townhouse, Sondheim’s Manhattan home until his death in 2021 at 91, is part of a coveted community of 20 townhouses known as Turtle Bay Gardens. Little-known and rarely for sale, the homes encircle a shared private garden. The community has been home to E.B. White, Garson Kanin, Robert Gottlieb, Mary-Kate Olsen, and neighbor Katharine Hepburn, who was once found glaring in at the songwriter from the back door during a 3 a.m. piano session, according to Curbed.

The 19-foot-wide townhouse begins with a wrought-iron gated forecourt leading to a wood-paneled foyer. The entry is topped by a midnight-blue tiled barrel-vaulted ceiling. A 32-foot living room is framed by chevron-patterned hardwood floors with mahogany inlay and back-lit millwork. Working quietly in the background is multi-zone central A/C throughout the home.

A formal dining room features floor-to-ceiling windows and original moldings. From the dining room, French doors open onto the garden. A renovated kitchen offers a timeless combination of glass-fronted cabinetry, stainless steel worktops and backsplash, and an eight-burner range with a vented hood.

Perhaps the best reminder of the home’s iconic former resident is the second-floor music studio. A music library features a wood-burning fireplace and a baby grand piano. A dramatic solarium is framed by a wood arch and original stained-glass windows.

The music studio opens onto a 30-foot terrace overlooking the gardens. This magical outdoor room is shaded by trees and framed by tile, wrought iron, and limestone.

Opposite the studio is an office/bedroom. Bespoke cabinetry and a wood-burning fireplace add warmth and history.

On the third floor are two bedrooms. In one bedroom is a wood-burning fireplace and ensuite bath. Between the bedrooms is a convenient and renovated kitchen with a SubZero fridge and Miele appliances.

Occupying the entire fourth floor is the home’s primary suite. The bedroom is framed by custom millwork and a wood-burning fireplace. The bath features a separate shower and deep soaking tub, and a spacious dressing room overlooks the Manhattan street below.

On the home’s top floor is a full studio apartment with a setback terrace overlooking the gardens. A renovated bath has floor-to-ceiling tile and a rain shower. Back on the lower level is a finished cellar with laundry and storage.

Turtle Bay Gardens is a secluded enclave situated between 48th and 49th Streets between Second and Third Avenues. The community, comprised of 20 1860s townhouses, was created in 1920 around a private communal garden accessible only from the homes.

[Listing details: 246 East 49th Street at CityRealty]

[At Compass by Michael J. Franco, Miriam Richards, Greg Holzmann, and Veronica Hinman]


Photo credit: Compass

Get Insider Updates with Our Newsletter!

Interested in seeing the property in person?

It’s free, with no obligation.

CityRealty Logo

Distinctive Post Form

"*" indicates required fields

All information furnished regarding property for sale, rental or financing is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or representation is made as to the accuracy thereof and same is submitted subject to errors, omissions, change of price, rental or other conditions, prior sale, lease or financing or withdrawal without notice. All dimensions are approximate. For exact dimensions, you must hire your own architect or engineer and for no listing shall the number of bedrooms listed be considered a legal conclusion.

You May Also Like