River House—A Mansion in the Sky of New York City


    The River House has long been considered one of Manhattan’s most discrete addresses. This palatial 26-story Art Deco-inspired building was designed by Bottomley, Wagner & White in 1931. The long-enduring architectural statement along Manhattan’s East River is flanked by two massive 15-story wings with its central tower topped with a crown.

    This aerie masterpiece epitomizes the original vision for the building—gracious living with opulent rooms flooded with natural light, outdoor terraces, wood burning fireplaces and four exposures inviting unobstructed views of the East River and Midtown Manhattan throughout.

    The stately great room features a wood-burning fireplace and picture windows, which frame the dramatic views of the East River; full-height double doors lead to a grandly appointed corner dining room, designed to seat up to 16 guests.

    The six-bedroom, seven-bathroom manse is introduced through the condominium building’s private cul-de-sac off 52nd Street into a cobblestone Palazzo courtyard turn-around with fountains and statuary, accessed through rococo wrought-iron gates. Exuding Old World charm, multiple doormen, lobby attendants and a concierge staff provide immediate service. The building’s lobby, which opens to a formal garden, was once described as an elegant drawing room from a Noel Coward play made for a grand entrance by Cary Grant.

    A private elevator landing opens to the majestic duplex, spanning 7,000 square feet, through a double-height entrance foyer with its signature staircase curving up to the second level’s private living quarters.

    A private elevator glides up to the 18th floor to introduce the home with this double-height entry and sweeping staircase.

    The architectural details throughout the residence are gracious and timeless—including intricate ceiling treatments, alcoves and vast walls for the display of fine art. Statement doorways, some with lunette windows or ornate trims and others elegantly simple, provide a seamless flow throughout the home’s first level.

    The second floor is reserved for the private living quarters, accented with this gallery wall, perfect for the display of large-scale art.

    At the time the current owner purchased the unit, designer Michael Smith, who also decorated the Obama White House, was engaged to reimagine the unit as an “English country retreat.”

    The stately great room, complete with a wood-burning fireplace, looks directly over the East River through multiple picture windows.

    Mahogany trim, inset bookshelves, and a fireplace warm the library while showcasing spectacular views of the city.

    Full-height double doors open to a glorious corner dining room appointed with 18th-century wallpaper, river views, and comfortable seating for 16.

    Antique wallpaper makes a statement in the corner formal dining room designed for elegant entertaining.

    A bright sunroom opens to the two large, south-facing terraces. The corner library serves as a quiet retreat with mahogany millwork, lovely inset bookshelves, and another wood-burning fireplace. The first floor also includes a chef’s kitchen with butler’s pantry and a sunny breakfast nook.

    The chef’s kitchen is filled with natural light and appointed with top-of-the-line appliances for a gracious cooking space.

    The second floor, also accessible by elevator, is reserved for the living quarters. It spans six bedrooms, all with en suite baths, including the corner master suite wing, complete with a wood-burning fireplace, large dressing areas, and a sitting room with its own wood-burning fireplace. A great hall, with walls ideal for the display of large-scale art, further set this level apart.

    The opulent master suite is appointed with a fireplace and 90-degree views plus a private sitting nook, also with a fire place.

    Residents also have the ability to join the exclusive River Club, a top-caliber health facility on the lower floors of the River House. Amenities include squash and tennis courts, a gym, a swimming pool, a library, a ballroom, guest rooms, and five-star dining overlooking the river.

    “The building’s privacy is unparalleled and the home is a testament to the original vision of the architects Bottomley, Wagner & White for a lifestyle at its absolute finest,” said Erin Boisson Aries, who is representing the property. “The residence is a mansion in the sky, with rooms both elegant and welcoming. Unobstructed city vistas are on full display from every vantage, fully leveraging the home’s prime location.”

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    River House, appropriately named for its perch on New York’s East River, captures soothing water vistas against the city backdrop.

    This magnificent River House residence is currently on the market for US$17,500,000.


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