First time on the market in over 50 years, 135 East 19th Street is one of the last grand architecturally significant townhouses remaining available for private ownership in New York City, with a history rivaling any notable residence in the United States.
The home was originally built by wealthy Dutch owners in Amsterdam in the 17th century, then dismantled and shipped to the Upper West Side in 1845. In 1910, it was relocated again to Gramercy Park and completed by English architect Frederick J. Sterner, becoming known as “The Joseph B. Thomas House” – named for the owner who accumulated his fortune in the sugar business. Still remaining fully intact, its most recent owner was a world-famous fashion designer and humanitarian. Society’s most notable women were dressed in this amazing home and the city’s finest parties were held amongst its grandeur and provenance.
From the outside, this major townhouse is impressive and most special for its Gothic fantasy design. Ribbons of stained-glass windows sparkle on every floor, decorative stone inlays define the façade, and an ornate roof line caps this “best on the block” mansion. Massive wood carved entry doors belie the history and scale that lie within, with the townhouse offering four stories (plus an interior mezzanine) and almost 7,000 square feet of interior living space.
The huge entry foyer awaits its next guest featuring a gorgeous Flemish pattern stone floor. The real majesty begins when one enters the living room once referred to by the architect as the “Italian Room” with its massive barrel-vaulted ceiling, delicate filigree plasterwork, wood paneled walls, and massive stone fireplace.
Beyond the living room and its huge stained glass Renaissance windowed wall is a crystal palace style garden with a working fountain and areas for interior plantings under a glass solarium roof. Below the living room, down a special staircase, is an amazing wine cellar and bacchanal tasting room. The dining room is fit for royalty and can seat many for major dinner parties or remain intimate for just a few. One feels like they are in a European country estate, with intricate woodwork lining the walls.
The upstairs bedroom floors can be reimagined as massive en-suite bedrooms, dressing rooms, staff rooms, and more. An ornately carved winding staircase encircles each floor. Presently, there are six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a full chef’s kitchen, a prep kitchen off the dining room, a dumbwaiter, two staircases, a laundry center, and more.
Shown by appointment only.
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