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December 21, 2023

An NYC Townhouse That Must be Seen to be Believed

Property of the Week: This seven-story NYC mansion is one of the city's most exciting real estate opportunities in decades.

By Kim Ayling

Sometimes a property comes on the market that is so spectacular, so over the top, that you can hardly believe it’s real. 4 East 79th Street is one such property. Commissioned in 1898 by James E. Nichols, and brought to life by architect CPH Gilbert — who injected plenty of his signature chateau-inspired style —  the magnificent Beaux-Arts-style mansion occupies a prime Upper East Side position just moments from Central Park, Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue.

The magnificent property has been expertly updated by its most recent owner in a seemingly budget-less renovation project covering all seven floors. Utilizing a team of industry-leading design and architecture professionals, this refurb used the building’s original details as core inspiration while simultaneously injecting modern details to suit a contemporary buyer. It emerged more impressive than ever.

[See also: Carnegie Hill Penthouse Hits the Market for $35m]

4 79th east street upper east side
The second and third floors are dedicated to social areas, including several dining rooms and drawing rooms / ©Yoo Jean Han for Sothebys International Realty
East 79th Street mansion NYC
A majestic open staircase forms the central heart of the townhouse / ©Yoo Jean Han for Sothebys International Realty

On the first floor, there is a grand entrance gallery which leads to a private office and powder room, with a large oak-paneled reception room beyond. The second and third floors are dedicated to social areas, including several dining rooms and drawing rooms, each of which is resplendent in its details: carved plaster crown moldings, mahogany French doors and marble mantles. This floor is also home to an oversized family kitchen (this is arguably just for show — a full-size commercial kitchen is in the basement).

The entire fourth floor is occupied by the Primary Suite, an outstanding space that features 12-ft ceilings, south- and west-facing windows, a marble bathroom, two dressing rooms, a herringbone white oak floor and a separate office.

[See also: This Paris Apartment is the Most Expensive Sold This Year]

nyc upper east side mansion
The entire fourth floor is occupied by the Primary Suite / ©Yoo Jean Han for Sothebys International Realty

The floors above offer a further five bedrooms (one of which has access to an outdoor terrace) as well as additional office and sitting room space. Exposure on three sides means the mansions has excellent light throughout – a scarcity in NYC. An impressive penthouse gym with a skylight completes the upper floors.

Alongside the high-spec service kitchen, the basement also holds a wine cellar and multiple storage rooms. While a majestic open staircase forms the central heart of the townhouse and stretches up to the fourth floor, a passenger elevator does access all floors and discrete a service elevator covers all but the top three.

$65m. Contact Serena Boardman, senior global real estate advisor, +1 212 6067 611,,

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