Manhattan’s Last Gilded Age Mansion Lists for $50M

The townhouse spans 9 levels.Someone will have the opportunity to own a piece of New York history as the last of the Gilded Age mansions on the Upper East Side’s storied “Millionaire’s Row” has just come on the market asking $50M. Designed by the same firm as Grand Central Station, the 20,000-square-foot Beaux Arts home once belonged to the granddaughter of railroad baron Cornelius Vanderbilt and was most recently used to house the offices of Serbia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

The Gilded Age—a term coined by Mark Twain—refers to a period of rapid economic growth in the United States in the late 19th century. It was during this time that the industrialists and financiers of the day such as Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie erected increasingly ornate homes on Fifth Ave, often modeled after French chateaux. The first “Gilded Age mansion” belonged to the Astor family and boasted a ballroom that could fit 400. Most of these homes have either been leveled or turned into museums.

Unlike others of its kind, this home has been impeccably preserved and is offered completely intact with furnishings as well as original artwork, murals and wall paintings—there is even a working stove from 1905. Unique details from previous owners also remain. For example, Vanderbilt’s granddaughter added the gilded cherubs in the molding of the second-floor dining room and the top floor houses a metal-padded room known as a Faraday Cage that was added when the building was used as Yugoslavia’s UN Mission; it allowed officials to converse or make calls without fear of wiretapping during the Cold War.

Douglas Elliman’s Tristan Harper has the listing and told the New York Post that there are already six interested parties, all of whom are “extremely high-net-worth individuals” that want to use the property as a single-family home.

Even the ceilings have artwork and murals. The dining room features gilded cherubs in the molding. An ornate formal living room. Artwork hanging in the staircase. An elaborate bathroom. One-of-a-kind cherub statues wrapped in gold leaf. Ornate details in a Gilded Age home. Manhattan's last Gilded Age mansion.