So What Lurks Inside Those Lavish East Side Townhouses, Anyway?

Funny thing about New York, you can walk by a building a million times and have no clue what is going on inside.  As a broker, I get invited to preview some incredible homes.  Right before Thanksgiving, I toured some Upper East Side townhouses currently on the market.  It was an eye opening experience, not only to view the beauty and architecture of some of New York’s finest homes, but it left me wondering about the lives of people who lived there.  Who were they?  What did they do?  What went on in all these rooms?  Perhaps you can conjure your own stories by the townhouse images below.

158 East 66th Street

Asking Price: $10,900,000

Deemed as an enchanted Upper East Side enclave, this exquisite five story townhouse is one of the 13 townhouses designed by John B. Snook in the 1860s.  In 1919, architect Edward Shepard Hewitt acquired 12 of the 13 houses and removed the high stoops, remaking them to face a huge sunken garden in the rear, named Jones Wood Garden.  This is a most sought after private garden between the two rows of townhouses featuring a large fountain and multi-level planting area.  There are only 12 keys which get you into the garden, 6 through the townhouses on the north side of East 65th Street and 6 through the townhouses on the south side of East 66th Street.

163 East 64th Street

Asking Price: $23,900,000

 Originally constructed in 1872 by noted Gold Coast Architect, John G. Prague, and later redesigned by famed architect R.D. Graham in 1901, this townhouse is perfectly situated on one of the most desirable tree-lined, townhouse blocks on the Upper East Side.  This home features 15 well-proportioned rooms with 5 bedroom, 8 fireplaces, 8 marble baths, a designer elevator servicing all levels including the European designed rooftop garden.  The homes comes with a lavish Belle Epoque bar area with Lalique-styled glass and a Louis XIV-style living room with ten canvas panels inspired by the Fragonard Room of the Frick Collection.

20 East 78th Street

Asking Price: $29,500,000

This stunning townhouse is noteworthy for its handsome limestone bow front and brick facade.  Sun-filled, open and airy, the approximately 9,000 square foot home is comprised of five stories with elevator access on each floor.  This home features a wide and graciously ascending staircase which leads to the parlor floor with a broad and gracious landing, 12′ high ceilings and hand-carved millwork.  The tremendous living room and elegant wood-paneled library both feature tree-line outlooks and wood-burning fireplaces.

101 East 63rd Street

Asking Price: $28,000,000

And saving the best for last…101 East 63rd Street is one of just three Manhattan houses designed by famed architect Paul Rudolph.  The 25- foot wide, dark glass facade is elegantly understated.  And of course, this is listed by my firm, Engel & Voelkers New York.

The main living area has 32 foot high ceilings and skylight.  There are two other living rooms and four bedrooms and the fourth floor is a fabulous guest suite with a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bar and a 1,600 square-foot terrace.

This townhouse has a very cool history.  It was the home of famous designer Halston who threw lavish celebrity-filled parties attended by the likes of Andy Warhol.  It was later owned by German photographer/international playboy/husband of Bridget Bardot, Gunter Sachs, and the top-floor suite was occupied intermittently by Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger, not to mention the ghosts of Studio 54.

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