Gilded Manhattan Historic Townhomes Hitting the Market at $25M

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The homes have been pristinely maintained and restored by recent owner Richard H. Jenrette, the investment banker and preservationist who passed away in 2018. Photo Credit: classicamericanhomes.org

By Benyamin Davidsons

Georgian-style townhomes in Manhattan’s coveted Upper East Side are a rarity.  A pair of these home, built in the 1930s, is about to hit the market, asking $25 million.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the homes once belonged to the family of one of the richest men in the world at the time, George F. Baker Sr.  The homes have been pristinely maintained and restored by recent owner Richard H. Jenrette, the investment banker and preservationist who passed away in 2018.

Located at 67 East 93rd Street, the main house spans four floors, and is narrow but 75 feet deep. It boasts 12-foot ceilings, a grand circular staircase, tall English Regency-style windows, and a decorative skylight at the top brightening the home from the center.  The first floor of the home is all fitted with beige-and-brown marble, and impressive classical furniture.  As per listing agent Joshua Wesoky of Compass, the second floor serves as a library, with books decorating the room from wall to wall.  The third floor features a large salon-style entertaining room.  The smaller home is located at 69 East 93rd Street, and is now partially connected to the main home.  The carriage house features a large garage which can accommodate five cars.

Jenrette restored the homes to their original glory and filled them with antiques including chandeliers, carpets, clocks and paintings. Jenrette purchased and restored over a dozen high-end mansions in his lifetime, with a passion for architecture. “Restoring fine old homes to their former glory has been a hobby—some say a passion—of mine,” he wrote in his 2000 book entitled Adventures with Old Houses. “Friends have described me as a ‘house-aholic’ who can’t say no to a fine old house that has fallen on hard times.”

As per the WSJ, Mr. Jenrette purchased the main house twice. First in October 1987, paying $4 million for the homes. The stock market had crashed less than a week after his purchase, so after about a year later, he agreed to sell the main house for $6 million. He moved into the smaller house, and only purchased the main house again seven years later for a discounted price of $5 million.

Mr. Jenrette had lived in the combined home till his death in 2018, at 89.  He did not have children or heirs.  The properties are being sold by the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust, a nonprofit foundation set up by Mr. Jenrette to protect four 19th-century properties he owned in New York, North Carolina and South Carolina.