A Gilded-Age Mansion Across From the Metropolitan Museum Has Hit the Market for a Breathtaking Sum

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Gilded-Age mansions are a rarity nowadays, but on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, several still stand. One such tony fixture is the Benjamin N. Duke House, a grand Beaux Arts-style limestone-and-brick structure built between 1899 and 1901 that has just entered the market with an asking price of $80 million.

Benjamin N. Duke House. Courtesy of Compass.

Features of the 20,000-square-foot townhouse—located at 1009 Fifth Avenue—include eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms across seven stories, towering ceilings, a private roof deck, and sweeping views of Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The stunning home last sold for $44 million in 2010, when its current owner, Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim, purchased it. At the time, Slim was the wealthiest person in the world. This is not the first time the residence has been put up for sale by Slim, however. It was first listed for $80 million in 2015, but failed to sell and was later taken off the market.

Benjamin N. Duke House. Courtesy of Compass.

Interior of the Benjamin N. Duke House. Courtesy of Compass.

Nor is it the only Gilded Age mansion in New York City formerly owned by a Duke family member. Just blocks away is the James B. Duke House, named after original owner, the brother of Benjamin N. Duke. Both siblings owned and lived in the Benjamin N. Duke House at different points in the early 1900s.

The Duke family—who made their fortune off of tobacco—maintained ownership of the abode for over a century, until 2006. James founded the American Tobacco Company and Benjamin served as vice president. 

Architectural firm Welch, Smith & Provot designed the dwelling, which was designated a New York City landmark in 1974 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

View of the Metropolitan Museum from the Benjamin N. Duke House. Courtesy of Compass.

View of the Metropolitan Museum from the Benjamin N. Duke House. Courtesy of Compass.

According to the listing, held by Jorge Lopez of Compass, “The building can be reimagined as a private residence or converted into a gallery, store, museum, or foundation,” given its close proximity to one of the world’s great art museums.

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