Over 100 years ago, a financial titan set out to create the widest townhouses uptown and downtown. He chose the best blocks in both neighborhoods, but realized he needed to assemble or, in the case of 11 West 10th Street, build an additional townhouse to achieve a width not available from the architecture of the day.
Today, high-net-worth townhouse buyers are trying to do the same thing Jeremiah Milbank did in the early 20th Century: buy two or three townhouses and create a mansion in their own vision.
11 West 10th Street, at 54.5 feet wide, on one of Greenwich Village's finest blocks, does not require the new owner to assemble more property to create incredible width on a superb block. In this capacity, Jeremiah Milbank was a pioneer of luxury townhouse living.
THE MILBANK LEGACY
Jeremiah Milbank followed in his father's tradition of entrepreneurship: Texas territorial bonds, railroads, and condensed milk with Gail Borden. In addition to his business ventures, he was a counselor to President Franklin Roosevelt on health issues such as seeking a cure for infantile paralysis and diphtheria and rehabilitating the handicapped. His spiritual beliefs led him to finance the 1927 biblical epic "King of Kings", directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
De Mille later wrote: "...two of the finest men I have ever known with the largest minds and highest ideals, were also men of great financial power. One of them is Jeremiah Milbank."
THE MILBANK MANSION ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE
For his own uptown Manhattan home, Milbank began the quest for a wide townhouse when he chose 16 East 67th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side and combined it with 14 East 67th Street in 1920 for a total of 48 feet in width.
That mansion was acquired in 2008 for $49 million. Eleven years later it sold again for $77.1 million. Both sales were record townhouse prices in their year.
THE MILBANK MANSION IN GREENWICH VILLAGE
For his downtown home, Jeremiah Milbank acquired 11 and 13 West 10th Street in the early 1900s and it was immediately known as "Milbank House". This 54.5-foot-wide property was later donated to give young businesswomen very pleasant rooms and to serve them two meals a day in elegant surroundings. Many of the books in its library came as a gift from Irving Berlin. The combination of two houses into one grand mansion creating this 54.5 width was achieved in the 1880s by the extraordinary architect, Ernest Flagg, when he built 11 West 10 next to 13 West 10, when 11 was a vacant lot.
There is simply no other renovated mansion at this phenomenal width so well located in Greenwich Village.
When today's buyer seeks extraordinary width in the Village, they must find two or more townhouses and hope the facades match. There are several examples of assemblage in the Village in progress now, but it could be argued that none are as perfectly located as 11 West 10th Street
THE RESIDENCE TODAY
The present owners have brought the mansion to an extremely high level of renovation and beauty. Huge dramatic space is wrapped in warm lighting. Honey colors and earth tones predominate. The Venetian walls reflect the luminous feeling of sunlight while the glass rear of the first two floors remind bring in complimentary earth-tones from the garden.
The house has been art directed so that everywhere you look there is something intriguing to see. Giant interior space is bathed in natural light and very welcoming. The rear faade is a curtain wall of glass on the garden and parlor floors. On the garden level there are five doors leading to the outside, on the parlor level the curtain wall of glass brings the garden into every room.
There is 16,560 approximate feet of interior space and 5,690 approximate feet of outdoor space, which surrounds the L-shaped mansion for a feeling of gardens everywhere.
Milbank House includes a wealth of rooms and possible layouts to accommodate bedrooms, activity rooms, grand-scale entertaining, and simple morning breakfast.
-Deep forecourt garden for privacy
-Enormous kitchen and informal dining area facing the garden
-Formal dining room seating 25+
-Original leaded glass window bay in living room
-2000-bottle wine room on the garden floor
-Third floor gym with terrace
-Home cinema seating 15+, and kitchenette and powder room
-Office with full bath
-Staff suite with full bath, kitchen, and private street entry
-Master suite with fireplace, sitting room, three walk-in closets, two baths, and a study
-Double-height library facing south with 21' ceilings
-Five (5) guest bedrooms with full baths
-High-speed elevator serves all floors, tandem entry on parlor serving butler's pantry
-Decked roof terrace with greenhouse.
Each room takes full advantage of the 54.5 feet in width, providing the owner and guests with some of the most exquisite living and entertaining spaces in New York.
High ceilings augment the 54.5-foot width on every floor, only adding to the privacy and grandeur of such a remarkable mansion.
Ceiling heights range as follows:
Parlor floor: 13' to 11'4"
Garden floor: 9'6 to 10'1"
Home cinema: 10'1"
Library: 21' to 18'10"
Whether you are seated in the reception room with 13' ceilings, having a formal dinner party for 25 in the dining room with 11'6" ceilings, or enjoying the Zebrano-paneled library with 21' ceilings, the volume of each room expertly compliments the width of the house and clearly illustrates the benefits of living in a 54.5 foot wide property where there is space enough and more for every aspect of modern living.
THE NEXT 100 YEARS
Some townhouses are filled with a rich history of stewardship, either from prominent figures or revered institutions. 11 West 10th Street could be defined by its history and position in Greenwich Village. What proved to be a superb block in the 1880s remains a block accented by incredible architectural heritage and record townhouse sales as we enter 2020. It could be said that in the next 100 years, the reputation of this property, its history, and the block will continue to set the standard for luxury townhouse living in New York.
Courtesy Of Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC
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