Historic Upper East Side townhouse once home to Eleanor Roosevelt is a minimalist sanctuary

Designed in 1898

The bowed exterior of Manhattan townhouse 55 East 74th Street has the regal air of a high society dame – but step inside its, and it’s a temple of modernity.

Buchman and Deisler designed the limestone manse in 1898, and it’s hosted a who’s-who of Manhattan’s well-heeled over the century, including John F. Kennedy and Leonard Bernstein. But its greatest claim is that it was the last home of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who penned her progressive column, My Day, from its reception room on the first floor.

But far from fusty, the 8,500 sq ft Manhattan property has stayed up with the times, and its interiors are a masterclass in restrained minimalist. Parlour rooms have bay windows and soaring 12-ft-high ceilings, period Hyde Park mouldings and marble fireplaces, while the kitchen is drenched in light from skylights. All have a white-washed colour-palette, sleek marble and stone finishes and soft earth-toned upholstery and furniture.

A period staircase with marble newel posts and wooden rail winds up to the bedrooms, of which there are six, including the large master suite, with its enormous ensuite with marble tub and a private rooftop garden.

Of course, living on this scale doesn’t come cheap. The Manhattan property is listed for $16m via Compass Realty.

Photography: Compass
Photography: Compass
Photography: Compass
Photography: Compass
Photography: Compass

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