A spacious seven-story townhouse on Manhattan’s “Bankers’ Colony,” nicknamed for the area covering Madison and Park avenues between East 68th and 71st streets, is on the market only for the third time in nearly a century, with an asking price of $72 million.
A turn-of-the-20th-century equivalent to today’s Billionaires’ Row (on 57th Street), Bankers’ Colony attracted many wealthy families with connections to the financial world. In 1917, Otto Dommerich, a prominent cotton business and insurance firms owner, commissioned Henry C. Pelton, the architect behind Riverside Church and The Cloisters, to build a residence for his family on East 69th Street according to the listing.
The townhouse, still known today as the Dommerich Mansion, served as a home for the family until 1943, when it was sold to the Henry George School of Social Science. The school later sold the property to James W. Smith Jr., a plastic surgeon and a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, in 1980. Dr. Smith passed away in 2006, but the mansion was used as the Center for Specialty Care until last May.
Now it offers an opportunity for buyers to convert the townhouse back to a single-family residence, said listing agent Paula Del Nunzio of Brown Harris Stevens. “There are so many features that just can’t be reproduced,” she said.
The 44-foot-wide limestone façade is extraordinarily rare. Only 11 mansions in Manhattan are that wide, according to Ms. Del Nunzio.
The sheer size inside is hard to find in Manhattan, too. The 21,070-square-foot interior space spans seven floors, with an additional 5,040 square feet in the basement and over 3,350 square feet of outdoor space. “The basement can be turned into a gym, a swimming pool or a screening room,” said Ms. Del Nunzio.
Other original details that have been kept intact include the great room, a 22-foot curved staircase illuminated by a stained-glass dome, 14 marble fireplaces and two elevators.
However, the most remarkable feature of this townhouse is its dazzling interior light, said Ms. Del Nunzio, who listed the property last September.
Ms. Del Nunzio declined to disclose the identity of the current owners, but the title remained under 50 East 69th Street Corporation, the same umbrella used by Dr. Smith to purchase the townhouse, according to public records.
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