Delano & Aldrich’s upper east side masterpiece, 120 East 78 Street boasts a beautiful, bold and distinct facade. Most fortunately this unique townhouse has benefited from excellent stewardship, and in addition to the inspired facade remaining unaltered, most of the gorgeous original interior details remain intact. Delano & Aldrich where the chosen architects of many of New York’s influential families and the firm designed some of New York’s most celebrated and important residential buildings, as well as the Knickerbocker Club, the Colony Club and the Union Club and both Chapin and St. Bernard’s schools. Commissioned in 1930 by banker Henry R. Winthrop upon his daughter’s engagement, the architects of this house, envisioned a neo-Georgian residence with a scene-stealing entrance niche. Delano & Aldrich created the dramatic entrance by cutting deeply into the façade with a sweeping curved marble staircase that leads up to the offset entrance door. The arms of the elegant iron fence bow out, mirroring the shape of the entrance alcove. The upper floors of red brick are subtly trimmed in limestone. Inside the rooms boast French paneling, rich hardwoods and carved marble mantles which among other period details have been meticulously maintained and carefully restored. The house offers 14 rooms on 8 stories above grade with many principal rooms boasting floor to ceiling windows with double exposures facing South and West, bathing them with abundant southern light. With well over 10,000 square feet of interior living space, the house offers a grand formal living room and elegant dining room, a handsome wood paneled library, 8 beautifully proportioned bedrooms each with its own bathroom and 8 fireplaces, a large eat-in chefs’ kitchen with custom cabinetry, a full-size gym and Pilates studio with massage room, and even a large wine storage which can accommodate over 600 bottles. There are numerous outdoor spaces as well, including a private garden off the lower level, a planted terrace adjacent to the dining room on the parlor level and another on the 7th floor, and a roof terrace on the top floor of the house. The house is distinguished by a graceful elliptical staircase which is capped by a large skylight that floods the house with sunlight. An elevator conveniently accesses all floors of the house as does a very practical back staircase. Proudly positioned on one of the most lovely and coveted blocks on the upper east side, 120 East 78 Street is a testament to the best of New York’s architectural history. However, despite the houses significant historical bonafides, it is a residence very much in step with today’s life style and easily embraces the possibilities of grand and sophisticated entertaining, as well as impeccably servicing an expansive contemporary family life style. Truly it is a house for the ages while also being resplendent with architectural merit.
Courtesy of Serena Boardman
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