Located along New York City’s iconic Fifth Avenue on Manhattan is a Gilded-Age mansion that spans 20,000 square feet and it is one of the few remaining buildings from the late 1800s. Named the Benjamin N. Duke House, this stately limestone-and-brick property is listed on the market for an asking price of US$80 million.
The architectural masterpiece is just opposite the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which annually hosts the Met Gala where some of the world’s most influential fashion people will make their appearance. Besides having a view of the Met Museum, where the owner can get front-row seat of the event and soak in the atmosphere of the evening, the property also boasts an undisrupted vista of Central Park.
Built around 1899 to 1901 by Welch, Smith & Provot, the storied building was even designated a New York City landmark in 1974 and included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. Not only will the owner be buying into a piece of New York City’s history, but this “the rarest opportunity to acquire a piece of history and make a bold statement in your portfolio,” a statement from the listing explained.
If a word could describe this mansion, it would be “opulence”. The entire building was constructed in the Italian Renaissance palazzo style and features eight bedrooms with 10 bathrooms across seven floors that are connected via a grand staircase. It even has high ceilings, a private roof deck and two statues guarding the front door.
The first owner, Benjamin N. Duke, came from a family who made a great fortune from tobacco, textiles and energy. In total, the Dukes held ownership of the house for over a century until 2006 when Mexican business mogul Carlos Slim bought it over.
As one of the richest men in the world, Slim paid US$44 million for the mansion in 2010 and subsequently listed it for the first time in 2015 for the same asking price of US$80 million but was unable to find a willing buyer. The mansion “may be recreated as a private dwelling or converted into a gallery, store, museum, or foundation,” according to the listing, maintained by Jorge Lopez of Compass.
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