Jeffrey Epstein’s townhouse in the Upper East Side of Manhattan is on the market. The detail-rich, 1930s-built home is located in Lenox Hill and priced at $88 million. Long before it was owned by Epstein, it was a be-all-and-end-all trophy for one of the most famous power brokers of the first half of the 20th century.
The 28,000 square-foot residence is known as the Herbert N. Straus mansion. Straus was heir to luxury department store leviathan Macy’s. It is one of the prominent properties in the neighborhood; according to the listing, the house is also in good company, with Cornelius Vanderbilt’s house and the Twombly House both neighbors. It was designed by Horace Trumbauer in the French Renaissance style.
The exterior of the building is limestone. The double doors are fifteen feet high, which drives home the sheer scale involved in the project; the house has been, by turns, both a school and a hospital in its lifetime. It extends seven stories skyward, and is fifty feet wide. There are some 40 rooms in all. Scale was important to Mr. Straus, and Mr. Trumbauer was the man for the job.
Ornate, singular opulence was important to him too, and 200-year-old rooms were dismantled in France and shipped across the pond. Unfortunately, Straus bought the farm before moving into the mansion, and it wasn’t completed until 1944.