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The last Gilded Age mansion in Manhattan is back on listing for $50 million. In 2018, the building had been housing Serbia’s Mission to the UN before it was razed down by a devastating fire. The third floor of the building, which was being used as office space was completely damaged by the fire. The 20,000 sq. ft. mansion is located at 854 5th Avenue is back on listing for the same price that it was going for before the fire incident.
The third floor, which was completely damaged had to be remodeled. The rest of the property, though it has undergone some repairs, still maintains its original look and feel. The house maintains it traditional design, including not having any modern features. It does not have even a central air-conditions system.
The fire made it possible for the house to be renovated though. After the repairs it looks cleaner, well-painted and has a perfect finish. Any parts of the house that were damaged were restored back to their original form. The façade was restored using matching stone and all the carvings restored as they were. The renovation works were overseen and approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The remodeling work was such a serious affair because of the history associated with this building. The building was not supposed to lose any of its former glory, most of which was attached to its appearance both on the exterior and interior.
This particular building was once the property of the grandfather to railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt. It is said to have been built in 1905. It was designed by Warren & Wetmore, and it was built for R. Livingston Beckman who was a stockbroker. He would later become the governor of Rhode Island. One of the most notable features of the house is a working stove that dates back to 1905 when the house was built. Apparently, the stove is still in perfect working condition.
The mansion cost $60,000 to build and has had many owners since then. It has broken a number of real estate records while exchanging ownership over the years. One of the most notable ones is when it sold of $725,000 in 1925. That was a lot of money back then and it was the highest a property had been sold in Manhattan.
This building was classified as a Landmark in 1969 because of its palatial scale, elegance, and domineering appearance. The building is a perfect reflection of the influences of the classic period f Louis XV of the 18th century. Apparently, this property was the first Manhattan building to have front-back electric elevators. Quite interestingly each ride of the elevator would be charged 25 cents. Those living there had to use the elevators sparingly to ensure the costs were kept in check.
The building has been owned by a couple of countries in recent years. It has been in the hands of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, and Serbia. Serbia is now ready to sell the fully furnished property at $50 million dollars. It will be interesting to see who would love to purchase the property.