Eleanor Roosevelt’s 19th-Century Manhattan townhouse hits the market for almost $19 million

The First Lady once entertained JFK here.

By Max Berlinger 18/02/2019

You can’t buy your way to becoming a First Lady, but now you can live like one.

This US$13.5 million (around $18.5 million according to the current exchange rate) townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side isn’t the White House, but it’s got some serious presidential pedigree: It just so happens to be where former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt lived from 1953 to 1958.

Built in 1873 by M.C Merritt for Thomas Kilpatrick, this house may be a mere 5.7 metres wide, but it packs some serious punch in that somewhat truncated width. At five stories, the home offers four bedrooms, including two floor-through master suites, five bathrooms, and six fireplaces, all spread out over 483 square metres (that’s not even counting the 167 square metres of outdoor space in the back). Two entire floors are dedicated solely to entertaining, which is fitting given that Roosevelt herself often hosted plenty of VIPs at the tony address, including Indira Gandhi and John F. Kennedy.


Photo: Courtesy of Stribling & Associates

The home has gone under extensive renovations and restorations under the watchful eye of Maria Masi—all in keeping with its grand and beautifully appointed Victorian style. Throughout the home, there are architectural details and design flourishes that would send any history buff and/or design lover straight to heaven.

The first two floors, in particular, are heavy on the old world entertaining and hosting bona fides: A Reception Gallery features hand-painted Iksel wallpaper and a Victorian ceiling detailed with ornamental tracery. There’s a central fireplace, custom millwork, and tinted glass arched French doors, which lead outside to a manicured garden with sculptured fountain and stone table.


Photo: Courtesy of Stribling & Associates

On the parlor floor, there’s a double dining room, adjacent to a fully appointed, eat-in kitchen. The kitchen features the home’s signature triple stained-glass windows, which look out onto the historic townhouses on 62nd Street. Meanwhile, there’s a proper powder room on the floor for freshening up 1950s-style, and a spiral mahogany staircase that will let you explore the rest of the stunning residence.

Just take a gander at the pictures and you’ll that it’s really special, not your run of mill eight-figure townhomes.


Photo: Courtesy of Stribling & Associates

See more on the property here.

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