Luxury Homes

Iconic Six-Story Urban Mansion Overlooking City’s Central Park

In 1903, John H. Duncan built a Beaux Arts style mansion for the Van Norden family, expressing all that it means to live a privileged lifestyle in New York City. The 15,000 square foot, six story limestone mansion, resplendent in high end detail and fine craftsmanship, was brought up to date by the hand of celebrated architect William T. Georgis, restoring the grandeur to a fine patina for a contemporary palace with terrace views of New York’s famed Central Park.

An exceptional exterior entry wraps the mansion, with double door, bas relief sculpture over the entry, and carved stone elements accented by bronze and black wrought iron, making an emphatic statement about the extraordinary architectural gifts within. A massive foyer with grand curved staircase invites guests to dream of the architectural confection that follows, for example, the malachite and mosaic flooring revealed during the renovation.

The first floor is home to the kitchen, with Smallbone crafted cabinetry, Carrera marble counters, a breakfast room and wood burning fireplace, as all within the mansion are excepting the gas fireplace in one of the master baths. Connecting to the kitchen, a butler’s pantry and study with a custom coat closet and powder room access the garden.

On the second floor, a marble stair with decorative wrought iron and brass balustrades sweeps up to the gallery, leading into the formal living and dining rooms. Ceilings take flight to 17 feet in these rooms, with solid mahogany pocket doors and decorative glass windows, brightened by the original crystal and brass hardware. The entry to the living room passes through two oversize French doors, nearly fitting floor to ceiling. Quartersawn white oak flooring matched into the Parquet des Versailles pattern graces the living room.

The dining room, connected by a wet bar and powder room, offers unobstructed views of the gardens, as the property spans a full city block from east to west. A butler’s pantry and two-story staff quarters are located at the rear of this floor of the mansion.

The third floor master suite detail is simply divine, with dual quarters embracing a man’s bath, marble shaving sink in the shower, leather paneled trim and mahogany lacquered millwork sparked with bronze in the dressing room.  Her quarters include a Waterworks tub, gas fireplace, heated floors, steam resistant mirrors, and a Biszet cosmetics refrigerator.

Taking the private stair to the three-room suite on the fourth level that serves as her dressing room, incredible detail continues with lighted handbag display, glass shelving, and temperature controlled fur vault. Two en suite bedrooms complete the fourth floor. The fifth floor is quite popular, and just as indulgent. Sporting a media room with full wet bar, billiard room, the walls are covered in Hermes leather. Two en suite bedrooms complete the layout.

The rooftop terrace with dining area, cedar pergola, full outdoor kitchen, with grill, refrigerator, Zen rock garden, and incredible front and back views of Central Park, entertains like only New York City is entitled. An elevator to a lower level spa, with massage, sauna, cold plunge pool, gym with glass rooftop, wine cellar, and custom millwork provides every luxury essential. A Crestron full house system integrates lighting, AV, security, water filtration, the Seura mirror LCD TVs, and the keyless alarm. Lastly, one not ever fear snowy sidewalks, as the electric snow melt system provides sure footing whatever the weather.

Offered by Adam D. Modlin at The Modlin Group, additional details about this magnificent mansion are available at

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Writing engaging, intelligent, accurate copy for the luxury audience, KLTurner covers wine, sailing, travel, and a variety of luxury profile topics.

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