This huge, modern townhouse at 157 East 70th Street has one of the more interesting ownership histories we've seen in a while. Conde Nast publisher Si Newhouse created the five-story, 10,000-square-foot mansion by combining two separate buildings and designed it to house his enormous art collection, also adding such features as a rooftop lap pool and two-story rear atrium, made, for some reason, out of bulletproof glass. In 1992, he put the house on the market for $5.5 million, but that price was cut significantly to $3 million over the course of the next year.
In June of 1993, the mansion was toured by Russian arms dealer Dimitry Streshinsky, who was in town to have his wisdom teeth taken out. Streshinsky toured the house the day after his surgery and, quite possibly under the effects of some medication, bought it on impulse for $2 million, writing a $200,000 check on the spot. After less than a year, Streshinsky decided that he'd made a mistake. "They were living in it like college students," the broker who handled the sales for both Newhouse and Streshinsky later told the Times. "There was a bed in the master bedroom with a TV on a box and the cable wire showing; there was one chair in the library and another TV. There was nothing in the living room and nothing in the big screening room on the top floor."
The house's next owner was media mogul Robert F.X. Sillerman, who paid $3.14 million in August of 1994. Sillerman, who at one point owned the commercial rights to Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali, renovated the house two years later, getting rid of the rooftop pool, unfortunately. Now he has put the house on the market for $36 million.
· Listing: 157 East 70th Street [Brown Harris Stevens]
· POSTINGS: 157 East 70th Street; An Elegant House and a Fluctuating Market [NYT]
· American Idol Sillerman Dealt Elvis Default Heartbreak in Vegas [Bloomberg]