Ornate UES townhomes sell to paper mogul for $20M

Peter Brant purchased landmarked George F. Baker house complex

George F. Baker Jr., House Complex at 67 East 93rd Street (StreetEasy, iStock)
George F. Baker Jr., House Complex at 67 East 93rd Street (StreetEasy, iStock)

Two beautifully preserved mansions built for a 20th century Wall Street tycoon have a new owner.

An LLC tied to publishing magnate and art collector Peter Brant purchased the George F. Baker house complex at 69 East 93rd Street, public records show. It paid $20 million for the two connected townhomes, $5 million below asking.

The homes were built around 1930 and are chock-full of rare art and furniture collected by their previous owner, investment banker Richard Jenrette. Even the walls are ornate: Highlights include the second-floor library’s 75-foot wall is covered entirely in books, and wall niches along the first floor filled with busts of British prime ministers, the Wall Street Journal previously reported.

Together, the homes contain six bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.

The main house is long and narrow, running 75 feet back but spanning only the width of one room at the entrance. A circular staircase climbs four stories to a skylight, with practically as many paintings adorning the ascent as there are steps. A smaller carriage house, complete with a five-car garage, connects to the main home.

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(Source: StreetEasy)

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Brant is a Queens native known for his success building the newsprint company co-founded by his father into one of the country’s largest newsprint manufacturers. He reportedly owns over 1,000 pieces of contemporary art, and became such an avid Andy Warhol collector that he bought the artist’s Interview Magazine after his death.

Jenrette had a passion for renovating old American mansions, which he jokingly called a “disease” in his book about the hobby. He left the Baker house and three others to the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust, a nonprofit he founded to preserve examples of classic American residential architecture.

The trust told the Journal they’re selling the homes because they aren’t “core to the group’s mission,” and proceeds from the sale will go toward historic preservation and education.

Compass’ Joshua Wesoky had the listing. He didn’t return a request for comment.