The Upper East Side historic district’s oldest home asks $13.9M
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The Upper East Side historic district’s oldest home asks $13.9M

April 6, 2023

All photos courtesy of Donna Dotan

This remarkable Gothic Victorian rowhouse on the Upper East Side was built during the Civil War, making it the oldest building in the neighborhood’s historic district. The red-brick townhouse at 129 East 70th Street was completed in 1863 as one of a group of five matching homes, of which only no. 129 remains. Located on a stretch of Lenox Hill called “millionaires’ row,” the home joins a block known for its mansions, affluent residents, and proximity to Central Park. Asking $13,900,000, the three-story, four-bedroom home has five wood-burning fireplaces, a front and back yard, and a stunning double-height conservatory.

With development slow to move past 59th Street during this time, the five identical residences stood alone, surrounded only by open landscape upon their completion, according to Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. By the early 20th century, the block was rebuilt with Neo-Federal and Beaux-Arts townhouses and mansions.

In its 1981 designation report of the historic district, the Landmarks Preservation Commission highlighted 129 East 70th Street as the oldest survivor of early development that took place on this part of the block. The report detailed its “rusticated Florentine arch window “enframements and decorative bracketed cornice of wood.”

The home’s unique Italianate Ruskinian Gothic facade has been restored in recent years and many of its original interior details remain intact. The listing was first reported by the New York Post.

Upon entering the parlor level is a living room with a wood-burning fireplace that features its original wood-carved surround, according to the listing. Overall, the home measures just over 5,600 square feet.

Also on this level is a library with another fireplace and walls lined with bookshelves. A staircase from the library leads to the striking conservatory.

Descend the dramatic staircase and you’ll land in the two-story conservatory on the garden level. Here, you’ll find the designer backyard, decked out with stone pavers, plantings, and fencing covered in ivy.

An eat-in marble kitchen and formal dining room are also on this ground level. There’s even a dumbwaiter that connects to every floor.

The primary suite takes up the entirety of the second floor. In addition to the main sleeping quarters, the suite includes a walk-through en-suite bath, a walk-in closet, and a study that overlooks the rear garden and could easily become an additional bedroom.

Two more bedrooms and a sitting room are found on the top floor, along with two more bathrooms.

Located between Lexington Avenue and Park Avenue, the property sits just three blocks from Central Park. Notable neighboring homes include Bunny Mellon’s former townhouse and a $51 million mansion purchased by Related CEO Jeff Blau.

[Listing details: 129 East 70th Street at CityRealty]

[At SERHANT. by Chase Landow]


All photos courtesy of Donna Dotan

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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.

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