Listing of the day
Location: New York, NY
Price: $19.5 million
Since 1990, this historic Beaux-Arts townhouse, on East 96th street between Fifth and Madison avenues, has been owned and occupied by the La Scuola d'Italia Guglielmo Marconi, a bilingual, bicultural private Italian school. In June, at the end of the current school year, the school will move to a new location on West 58th Street.
The seven-story townhouse was designed and built in 1916 by Ogden Codman Jr., one of country’s best-known Beaux-Arts architects. Originally just five stories, the mansion was built for Robert L. Livingston, a socially prominent American financier whose blue-blood family pedigree included a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Supreme Court Justice, and generations of statesmen and wealthy capitalists. Two additional stories, which are set back from the street, were added in 1939.
“Codman would only work with the richest of the rich, never the nouveau riche,” said listing agent Linda Basilice-Hoerrner. Vanderbilts, Rockefellers and the novelist Edith Wharton were among his clients. All told, he designed 22 houses to completion.
With the school gone, current zoning allows for a range of possibilities, including a return to a glorious single-family home, development conversion as condominium residences, medical offices, a consulate, or continued use as a school.
“Interestingly, all of the people who have looked at the house have been interested in converting it back into a private residence,” Ms. Basilice-Hoerrner said.
Most of the front rooms facing onto East 96th Street have been left intact, with 13-foot ceilings and gorgeous marble floors, Ms. Basilice-Hoerrner said. Some of the back rooms of the house have been divided into smaller spaces, with additional hallways.
The 20-room, 25-foot-wide townhouse has about 17,700 square feet of living space, including the basement and subbasement. If the buyer chooses to revert back to a private residence, there could be 14 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms.
The building has an elevator, garden, terrace and 11,970 square feet of air rights, subject to approval by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
There are seven fireplaces. The mantels and moldings showcase the original Codman interior design and ornamentation.
You can still see many of Codman’s original design elements, including sculpted garlands draped over exterior doorways and windows, a sweeping elliptical staircase, a wood-paneled ballroom, and a pair of arched glass doors that open onto a wrought iron Juliet balcony.
The landmarked townhouse is in the heart of the Carnegie Hill Historic District. Central Park is just across Fifth Avenue.
Codman designed two other Beaux-Art townhouses on this same block. No. 7 E. 96th St. was his own home and later became the longtime home of the Manhattan Country School, and No. 15 E. 96, which is the Cartier Mansion.
Agent: Linda Basilice-Hoerrner, of Stribling and Associates
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