Former Vanderbilt mansion eyed for residential restoration

Townhouse sold for $53M in 2022 peak after decades as embassy, school property

Former Vanderbilt Mansion Eyed For Single-Family Restoration
60 East 93rd Street in Manhattan NYC (Google Maps, Getty)

The new owner of the former Vanderbilt mansion is planning a redevelopment that would transform the Upper East Side townhouse back to its days of residential glory. 

The anonymous owner of 60 East 93rd Street filed plans to convert the 18,000-square-foot property back into a single-family home, Crain’s reported. The property has served as an embassy and a school over the past few decades, but is zoned for residential use.

An anonymous buyer used a limited liability company to buy the townhouse last summer for $52.5 million, marking one of the city’s largest townhouse sales in 2022.

The identity of the buyer — who purchased the home from English antiques dealer Carlton Hobbs — remains unclear. Hobbs used the property as a home and gallery in a 70/30 commercial split.

The home was built in the 1930s for socialite Virginia Graham Fair Vanderbilt, a member of the Vanderbilt family. The property has also housed the Permanent Mission of Romania to the United Nations. In 2002, Hobbs bought it from a school, Lycée Français de New York, for $10.6 million.

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The townhouse is 57 feet wide, an unprecedented measure in New York City townhouses.

The owner of the property needs a special permit to restore the home to a single-family residence. While the residential zoning eases some barriers to the renovation, the building is a landmark and sits in a historic district, requiring the City Planning Commission to approve elements that fall outside of the zoning, such as the rear shallow yard.

The mansion known for housing some famous names also has a famed architect behind its original design: John Russell Pope. The architect’s best known works include the Jefferson Memorial and the entrance hall to the American Museum of Natural History.

Holden Walter-Warner

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Carlton Hobbs with 60 East 93rd Street (Getty, Google Maps)
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