Real State

Two Floors of a Century-Old Mansion Are Listed on the Upper East Side

The auctioneer David Redden remembers seeing the grand Joseph Pulitzer mansion on the Upper East Side from a client’s home in 2000 and thinking it was “the most beautiful house in New York City.”

“It was a Venetian palace,” Mr. Redden, now retired as a vice chairman of Sotheby’s and its longest-serving auctioneer, said in an email. “I said to myself, I shall live there someday!”

His aspirations came to fruition in 2011, when he and his wife, Jeannette, an environmentalist, bought a penthouse on the top floors of the mansion, which was designed by Stanford White and built in 1903 at 7-11 East 73rd Street. The penthouse is on two floors that are setback atop the building.

The limestone structure, inspired by Venetian baroque architecture, was home to the publisher Joseph Pulitzer, then converted to rentals in the 1930s, and a co-op in the ’50s.

The first resident of the penthouse was Roy Chapman Andrews, an explorer, naturalist and inspiration for the “Indiana Jones” series.

The Reddens paid $2.4 million for the duplex in an estate sale, then began extensive renovations. “It was a mess — it had been on the market for well over a year and a half,” Ms. Redden recalled in a phone interview. The couple installed a new kitchen, updated the bathrooms, and built out a terrace. More recently, they acquired two staff rooms, a bathroom and a corridor, in order to expand the lower level and add mobility-friendly features for Mr. Redden. He was diagnosed five years ago with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or A.L.S., a debilitating neurodegenerative disease.

With his condition unlikely to improve, the Reddens have decided that their next step is to sell. They’re asking $6.975 million for the expanded apartment, according to Marjorie Hewett, a broker with Sotheby’s International Realty, which is listing the property. Monthly maintenance is $8,717.

“There are steps, there are stairs, there are levels, it’s just impossible to manage,” Ms. Redden said, adding that the couple has since relocated to their 85-acre country home on Storm King Mountain in New York’s Hudson Valley.

The penthouse is around 2,690 square feet, with 778 square feet of outdoor space. It has three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a powder room.

Entrance is on the lower level. The main foyer has a short set of stairs leading up to an 18-by-34-foot great room at the apartment’s north end. The enormous space, with double-height ceilings, is anchored by a wood-burning fireplace decked out in Victorian rococo and has three tall windows with original stained glass interspersed.

Off the great room is a grand staircase, coat closet and powder room.

An eclectic mix of antique furnishings, artwork and various collections, all purchased through Sotheby’s auction house, can be found throughout the home. There are paintings from artists like Josette Urso, Louisa Chase and Charles Caryl Coleman; and there are extensive collections that include Japanese prints, Chinese porcelain and textiles, and antiquarian books.

On the apartment’s south end, the main foyer opens to a large formal dining room, and beyond that a kitchen outfitted with high-end appliances, marble countertops and backsplash, and a laundry area.

Through the kitchen is another hallway — part of the addition — with two bedrooms, a full bathroom and storage.

At the top floor is an office area off a spacious landing with views of Central Park and the great room below, as well as the primary bedroom. The bedroom has an en suite bathroom and entry to the terrace, which was irrigated and landscaped with a variety of plantings, from boxwood and honeysuckle to parsley and lettuce.

“The terrace could be extended dramatically by leasing the co-op’s upper roof,” Ms. Redden said, noting that the two spaces “could be connected by an outdoor staircase from the terrace.”

“We had many happy parties on the terrace,” she added. “We did one in a rainstorm under a big umbrella.”

Over the years, the couple has hosted numerous fund-raising events for various environmental groups as well as functions for Sotheby’s. Mr. Redden had worked at the auction house from 1974 to 2016. During his tenure, he created several new auction categories, including space, dinosaur and baseball memorabilia. Among his memorable sales as an auctioneer were two first printings of the Declaration of Independence.

Three years after his retirement, the David Redden ALS Fund at Columbia University was created to support research and treatment of A.L.S.

Ms. Redden says she and Mr. Redden will miss their Pulitzer penthouse, along with the Lenox Hill neighborhood. “We had so much fun there,” she said. “It was full of many happy occasions and friends. It was good apartment for us, but times change.”


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