Updated: Feb 21
A Gilded Age Mansion in New York City Just Listed for $80 Million.
The 20,000-square-foot Beaux Arts townhouse is one of the few remaining private residences from the era.
Large homes in New York City might seem like an oxymoron, but this wasn’t always true. Before nearly every inch of Manhattan was developed, a Gilded Age mansion in the Big Apple wasn’t uncommon. Back in the 1800s, with a booming economy and open space, crafting expansive properties wasn’t out of the question for the city’s most affluent residents. Reimagined in HBO’s The Gilded Age, many were clustered along Fifth Avenue—sometimes taking up a whole city block. While most of the palatial homes were demolished or remodeled into other uses, like high-end luxury stores or hotels, it is possible to find some in their original, residential fashion—and one just came to market.
Inside 1009 5th Avenue.
Located at 1009 5th Avenue, the 20,000 square-foot palace is known as the Benjamin N. Duke House. Receiving its namesake from its original owner, a tobacco, textile, and energy tycoon, the home was designed by the firm Welch, Smith & Provot.
Twenty-five rooms across seven floors sit behind the Beaux Arts-style limestone and red brick facade, which faces The Met and Central Park. A grand staircase connects each story, which contributes to a deceptively simple layout (each floor contains an ornate landing space and two main rooms on either side). Private outdoor space includes a terrace and rooftop.
Though the building is landmarked, according to the listing, the buyer wouldn’t have to keep it as a residential property and could, for example, convert it into a “gallery, store, museum, or foundation.” Other mansions from the era, like the Henry Clay Frick House, which is now used for the Frick Collection, have been reimagined in such ways. The home’s current owner, Carlos Slim, bought the Gilded Age mansion in 2010 for $44 million—at the time, the Mexican telecom magnate was the richest man in the world. He listed the property for the first time in 2015 for the same price but was unsuccessful in finding a buyer.
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