Updated 9 days ago
Upper East Side, Manhattan | Park Ave & Lexington Ave
12.5 Rooms5 Beds5.5 Baths6,270 Square FeetSingle Family

floors / apts4 / 1
Lot Size20'x100'
Built Size20'x50'
Building TypeTownhouse
RE Taxes$79,478
Price Per SF

Outdoor space and views

  • Terrace

Building Amenities

  • Garden
  • Laundry Room
  • Wine Cellar

Property Description

Welcome to one of Manhattan's most architecturally significant townhouses, located on 70th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues, considered one of the city's most beautiful and important townhouse blocks.

This 20-foot wide townhouse was designed in 1941 by William Lescaze, a Swiss-born American architect pioneering modernism and the International Style of Architecture. It was commissioned and built for Dorothy Norman, a photographer, writer and major influencer of 20th century art and politics, and longtime love of Alfred Stieglitz, arguably the most important photographer of his time.

The elevatored 4-story townhouse is over +6,700 square feet including a finished basement, and connects to a unique 1-story studio building at the rear of its 100 foot lot. There is a lovely central garden between the main house and the studio, plus a magnificent terrace on the roof of the studio overlooking the garden and townhouse. Ceilings heights are over +10 feet throughout except for the entry level, where they are +/- 9 feet, and 8 feet in the finished basement. The townhouse was designed to maximize light and a sense of peace and tranquility; it is very bright and surprisingly even gets direct sunshine on the first floor.

Upon arriving at this architectural treasure, one is greeted by a distinctive yellow door with glass transom. The townhouse was designed with an overhang which keeps the owner and visitors dry during inclement weather. One enters into a welcoming entry foyer which leads past the elevator, which services all floors including the basement, and past the staircase to a large and almost square dining room. There is a huge picture window overlooking the garden and the 1-story studio at the rear which permits sunlight to flood in. A corridor at the rear of the dining room, also with picture window, provides access to the garden and the 1-story studio at the rear. The sunny, south-facing garden is an oasis of tranquility. The studio makes a wonderful guest bedroom with full bathroom and it too features a picture window onto the garden. The large eat-in kitchen at the front of the house was designed for the serious home chef and features beautiful and fully restored original cabinetry and has a service door to the street for deliveries. The walk-through wet bar has an additional dishwasher and refrigerator. An exquisitely designed powder room completes this floor.

The sunny parlor floor of the house features a loft-like living room with fireplace and angled picture window overlooking the garden and has access to the spectacular terrace built on the roof of the 1-story studio. The living room also features an additional seating area designed for music appreciation. At the front of the house is a library with a picture window looking across the street to the double-width Mellon mansion and the other Landmark townhouses on the block.

The 3rd floor of the house features a wonderful primary bedroom, also with an angled picture window overlooking a wall of ivy, and the garden and terrace, making it feel as though one is completely detached from the city. There is a dressing room which leads to the primary bathroom featuring a deep soaking tub and separate shower, a secondary bathroom, additional washer and dryer, and kitchenette. To the front of the house is a home office or additional bedroom also overlooking the Mellon mansion across the street.

The top floor is designed with 2 guest bedrooms with a shared dressing room and bathroom plus a small terrace overlooking the garden, and 3 smaller bedrooms and a bathroom at the front of the house. At the top of the house there is a wonderful round skylight allowing light to flood the entire stairwell.

The finished basement has a large media/screening room, wine cellar, utility room and storage, a room housing the A/V and lighting panels, plus a large laundry room.

The townhouse is completely renovated with state of the art air conditioning and custom lighting yet it retains the original vision of Dorothy Norman and William Lescaze. The current owner researched the exact colors that Lescaze used when the home was built in order to fully capture the spirit of the house as it was intended. The townhouse also features the original furniture and built-ins which were designed by Lescaze for the residence, each carefully restored to "new."

Truly a unique and beautifully restored masterpiece of the International Style of Architecture, this townhouse will take your breath away. There is nothing else like it in the city

Listing History

Initial Price by Molly Reilly
Douglas Elliman

Building Details

OwnershipSingle Family
Building TypeTownhouse
Year Built1940
Learn More About the Building

Transit and Citi Bike


68 St-Hunter College
0.07 miles
72 St
0.28 miles
Lexington Av/63 St
0.34 miles
77 St
0.37 miles
Lexington Av/59 St
0.49 miles

Citi Bike

E 72 St & Park Ave
0.14 miles
3 Ave & E 71 St
0.14 miles

Upper East Side | Manhattan

Quick Profile

Exuding a cosmopolitan, refined air that is reminiscent of Paris or other European cities, the Upper East Side (the UES, to local cognoscenti) has a reputation as being a bastion of wealth and privilege. Even though it was built by American “royalty” families like the Vanderbilts, Roosevelts, Kennedys, Carnegies and Rockefellers, whose elaborate mansions once anchored Fifth Avenue, there are affordable housing options throughout the neighborhood. The further east you move, away from Central Park and the more commercial avenues, the more likely you are to find quiet, tree-lined streets with historic townhouses and brownstones. Keep your eye out for reasonably priced apartments in pre-war low-rise and even a few high-rise buildings.

With abundant, beautifully landscaped green spaces, including the oasis of Central Park acting like a backyard, the area is quiet and lushly green. You can relax and unwind in John Jay Park, Carl Schurz Park or take a stroll along the East River Promenade. The whole neighborhood seems isolated from the workaday chaos of the city at large. Add to that the history of the neighborhood and the abundance of cultural institutions, and you have a uniquely welcoming neighborhood.

Known for its abundance of high-end retail shopping, especially on Madison Avenue, the Upper East Side is host to the Barneys New York flagship department store. Here you can find upscale goods, fashion and home decor items. You will also find the edgy runway-inspired Alexander McQueen collections. If you are dying to treat your feet to red-soled opulence, be sure to visit the Christian Louboutin boutique. These are only a small sampling of this high-end shopper’s paradise that features everything from designer boutiques that offer the ultimate in haute couture to resale shops where you can find last season’s best on sale at hefty discounts .

There are many unique dining experiences, from fine dining to the casual bite-on-the-go, awaiting you in the UES. Sushi is going through a renaissance in the city, and the best omakase-style sushi can be found at Sasabune on E 73rd Street. Omakase sushi means that you leave the choice of ingredients, preparation method and presentation to the chef. Elegant French cuisine can be experienced at JoJo, E 64th Street, housed in gorgeous townhouse. Just for fun, visit the Lexington Candy Shop on Lexington Avenue, to get a taste of an old-fashioned soda fountain.

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All information furnished regarding property for sale, rental or financing is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or representation is made as to the accuracy thereof and same is submitted subject to errors, omissions, change of price, rental or other conditions, prior sale, lease or financing or withdrawal without notice. All dimensions are approximate. For exact dimensions, you must hire your own architect or engineer.
OLR ID: 83119TH