This five-story townhouse at 50 East 64th Street between Madison and Park Avenues is available for rent, fully furnished, for five weeks only, from August 1 to September 7. The asking rent for that time is $25,000; according to the listing, it’s “about half what this house would rent for on a conventional one year basis.” Within its 6,000 square feet are 14 rooms and 1,500 square feet of outdoor space on three levels.
The recently-renovated home is as grand as it gets without going too far over the top; it’s Upper East Side style sans velvet and chintz, opulence without clutter–though a wealth of decorator flourishes make it clear the interiors didn’t get this way by accident.
Near the entry to this historic–but somehow modest–Italianate abode, a wide polished wood staircase curves heavenward. There are five bedrooms, so the whole gang could conceivably split the cost. The house would also make a great movie location–that number doesn’t seem nearly as big as a line item on even an indie film budget.
As previously mentioned, the house is filled with designer details and artfully curated lighting, done in a neutral and graphic palette: lots of black, white and cream with perfectly waxed herringbone wood floors throughout. Nooks and corners–like this cozy reading spot–would make it easy to share the space with family or friends.
The renovation has rendered everything thoroughly up-to-the-minute (including central A/C) and on-trend, including an open sky-lit kitchen with all the finest gadgets. Style-wise it has both a functional and laid-back loft kitchen vibe and a contemporary-traditional look with slate blue cabinetry, marble countertops and gold details.
Floor-to-ceiling, steel-framed French doors and bay windows open up the space to sunlight, offsetting dark wood paneling and licorice-toned accent walls.
For entertaining, it’s perfect: 1,500 square feet of Upper East Side outdoor space certainly creates a rarified realm. A stone-paved patio provides both a city oasis and a prime spot to gaze out on the historic and rapidly-changing skyline–and the elegant neighbors’ digs.
A mirror-backed bar is both masculine and elegant.
The opulence happens in the bath, where there’s yards of marble and gold fixtures; we’re wondering about that stone bust lurking above the tub, but it’s certainly a reminder that there’s always an audience of one sort or another when we live in New York City.
The block itself has changed surprisingly little since these graceful townhouses were first occupied by successful professionals at the end of the 19th century. Though a second wave of grander and more stylized mansions took over the surrounding blocks in the early 20th century, the houses remained remarkably intact here–though many were combined and split into rental apartments.
The house was previously owned by a pair of Broadway luminaries from the heyday of the Great White Way. Tony Award-winning director Albert Marre and his wife, Joan Diener, who starred in “Kismet” in 1953 and “Man of La Mancha” in 1965, lived–and entertained a theater crowd–at number 50 for 50 years.
On record as one of the home’s current owners is a former FBI agent who also runs a company that manufactures a device that makes light bulbs lasts three times longer. Like a white-hatted Willy Wonka of the one percent, not only does he track down white-collar scofflaws, but he’s making the planet a better place. The missus is apparently an actress, which is in keeping with the home’s thespian past. They purchased the home from the estate of the aforementioned Broadway power couple for $6.9 million in 2013.
Once you step out the door of your drama-infused month-long idyll, the lovely and refined architecture of the Upper East Side, as well as the neighborhood’s world-class luxury shopping and dining and, of course, Central Park, all compete for your immediate applause.
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Photos via Douglas Elliman
Neighborhoods : Upper East Side