A man who once unseated Bill Gates as the world’s richest person listed one of New York City’s most historic private homes for $80 million.
Located on one of the most the iconic streets in the world, the “Duke House” was built during the Gilded Age and remains as one of Fifth Avenue’s last true mansions, according to New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The five-story, 20,000-square-foot limestone and red-brick mansion with eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms is a “rare” property – occupying roughly 27 feet at 1009 Fifth Ave. and 100 feet on 82nd Street in Manhattan, according to the Compass real estate listing.
The historic building is across to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and boasts sweeping city skyline views.
Unique, opulent designs are key elements throughout the home, which offers spacious rooms, high ceilings, elegant marble fireplaces, ornate moldings and an abundance of natural light.
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Although it’s mostly been used as a private residence, the listing encourages prospective buyers to not be confined, noting it can be a gallery, store, museum foundation, or many other creative ventures, given its prime location.
The mansion is owned by billionaire owner of Latin America’s biggest mobile telecom firm, Carlos Slim, who was named the world’s richest person between 2010 and 2013 and is listed by Forbes as Mexico’s richest person, worth $90 billion.
Slim bought the building in 2010 for $44 million, nearly half of what it’s listed for today, and previously tried to sell it in 2015 for $80 million but took it off the market the following year, according to the property’s history. Slim put the building back on the market this January.
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First owner was US tobacco titan
The property’s namesake is tied to another wealthy businessman, American tobacco dynasty Benjamin N. Duke, who purchased it with his wife, Sarah Duke, shortly after it was built. Architectural firm Welch, Smith & Provot was commissioned to design the house by builders Hall & Hall.
At that time, Central Park was lined with residences just like 1009 Fifth Ave., most of which have been converted into multi-occupancy apartment buildings, according to New York City’s Historic Districts Council.
The home remained in the Duke family for over a century, until billionaire Tamir Sapir bought it in 2006 for $40 million. At the time, it was the highest amount ever paid for a Manhattan townhouse, according to Forbes.
In 1974, it was designated as an official landmark by the city due to its “special character, special historical and aesthetic interest and value as part of the development, heritage and cultural characteristics of New York City,” according to the official report.
Camille Fine is a trending visual producer on USA TODAY’s NOW team.
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