Venetian grandeur is on offer at this vast Manhattan property, which has a handsome $10.5m tag to match its pedigree – and unexpected literary connections.
The Hunnewell Mansion is a four-storey townhouse in the Turtle Bay neighbourhood of Manhattan built by railroad heiress Charlotte Hunnewell Sorchan – the real-life inspiration for Charlotte in EB White’s childhood classic, Charlotte’s Web.
Hunnewell was a keen property mogul and philanthropist. In 1918 she purchased 21 brownstones north along 46th and south on 49th. With the help of architects Edward C Dean and William Bottomley, she transformed them into a Mediterranean style community facing a lush communal garden – evoking her travels through Europe.
Described by New York Social Diary as ‘a single great green room of shrubbery, flowers, and mature trees’, Turtle Bay Garden still exists and is dotted with fountains, pergolas and statues inspired by the Medici Gardens in Florence.
Hunnewell herself lived at number 226 East 49th Street, whose interiors recall the grand palazzos of Italy with towering ceilings, marble fireplaces, and painted frescoes. Most grand is its baronial great room, while the library has floor-to-ceiling shelving. Six bedrooms and a skylit garage/studio are also in the mix.
Past residents of Turtle Bay Gardens include Bob Dylan, June Havoc, Katharine Hepburn and of course, author E.B White. Douglas Elliman Real Estate has the listing for the opulent New York property.
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