Philanthropists Paul and Bunny Mellon built this beautiful townhouse in Manhattan in 1965.
Bunny was the horticulturist commissioned by her friend Jackie Kennedy to design the White House Rose Garden, so it makes sense that she would want gardens here in the middle of the city, too.
Bunny, who was known for her impeccable style in houses and gardens, died earlier this year at the age of 103.
She sold this townhouse after husband Paul died. It went on the market again last year and was reportedly purchased by Netscape founder Jim Clark for about $39 million.
Bunny Mellon’s Townhouse Was Featured in Architectural Digest:
According to Curbed, the 11,100-square-foot, 14-room townhouse was designed in the Neoclassic French style and has “pretty much every different type of room you can think of—drawing room, study, library, formal dining room, staff rooms, breakfast room, etc. The house last sold in 2006 for $22.5 million, and is now, somewhat ambitiously, asking more than twice that, although it doesn’t look like the new owners made any changes (as well they shouldn’t).”
According to The Devoted Classicist, the townhouse was an instant landmark when it was built in 1965:
“It was their pied a terre in Manhattan, their main residence being a 4,000 acre estate in Upperville, Virginia. Architect H. Page Cross designed the house that replaced two typical late 19th-century brownstones. Storm shutters were concealed within the thickness of the exterior walls, pulling down inside the coquina stone trim around the French doors and casement windows; a steel plate can automatically slide to block the front door to make it difficult to penetrate the urban fortress.”
The current owners previously lived in a townhouse across the street from this one and reportedly sold it in 2006 to Woody Allen.
The townhouse is 40′ wide. The floorplans give you an idea of how big this place really is — and these don’t even include the upper levels (six in all). You can see the rest of them here.
The listing says:
“Featured in The World of Interiors magazine, the townhouse, designed in the Neo-French classic style evoking the charm of the French countryside, reflected the passions of its owners. Paul Mellon curated his art collection in the library overlooking the exquisite garden with reflecting pool and gazebo, where Bunny Mellon indulged her love of gardening. The house has three exposures, affording brilliant sunlight into some of the most beautiful rooms on the Upper East Side.”
For photos and information, check the Sotheby’s listing held by Louise C. Beit,
The Devoted Classicist, Curbed, and Architectural Digest (photographer Michael Dunne).