Dukedoms For History

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142 West 11th Street

An article in New York Magazine titled Old New York features nine nineteenth century properties which tap into NYC’s real estate history…as well as into its current fashion-crazed, financial cavalierness. In the world of real estate, history comes at a price (a very dear price) and nostalgia is merely a selling point for those who could afford such nostalgia. I’ve chosen two of these properties as an example of the high cost of “old world” living in present-day NYC.

The Italianate townhouse (built in 1855) at 142 West 11th Street in Greenwich Village exorbitantly belies its 19th century roots for the 21st century, befitting the Old New York connoisseur; at least, in one room of this quaintly voguish duplex. The cast-iron rose moldings, a marble fireplace and Pier mirrors came with the house, as does its front hallway with a mahogany banister that has been there since the house’s inception. Of course, the townhouse has a very modern price tag: $7.995 million; a very tidy sum for select happiest millionaires (or billionaires) who enjoy existing as combination homeowners and museum curators.

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15 Sutton Place

At 15 Sutton Place (built in 1899) in Sutton Square stands another remnant of olden days at today’s big-ticket prices. This building is part of an enclave by the East River (a waterside view, in today’s NYC, could turn a cardboard box into a palace) and is packed with the requisite sales incentives: period details. The neo-Georgian townhouse has not one but four original fireplace mantels, as well as decorative moldings, arched doorways, a wrought-iron gate and “more” (which usually means more of the same to a redundant degree).  Nevertheless, it’s a steal (depending on who, buyer or seller, is being robbed) at $11.5 million dollars.

A comment from coolbirth on this article: “If only they weren’t so excruciatingly expensive, I’m sure I could purchase a door knob or two or perhaps, even lay claim to a step on a stoop.”