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Upper East Side Mansion Asks a Whopping $51 Million

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It might not be the most expensive townhouse currently on the market in New York, but the Charles Ogden Mansion on East 79th Street is certainly aiming high, hitting the market yesterday with an eyebrow-raising asking price of $51 million.

And by mansion, we mean mansion; the Neo-Georgian home is 16,000 square feet, seven stories, and 28 feet wide, with iron fences, open urns, broad low stoops, and service entries on the lower level. The mansion was built from 1901 to 1903 as two separate homes. No. 12 was built for Mary F. Ogden and No. 14 was built for her brother, Charles W. Ogden. In 1935, Charles died and the deed for No. 14 passed to his sister.

In 1975, the building was bought by the School of Practical Philosophy, a non-profit whose suspiciously cultish aim is "to offer students the inspiration and systematic guidance needed to enjoy fuller, richer and more productive lives; to evolve the spiritual aspect of their beings; and to serve society to the best of their abilities." The organization has used the building for "institutional" (ahem) purposes, but is now selling the property in order to move into a larger space.

· Listing: The Charles Ogden Mansion [BHS]
· "Estate Once Owned by Eddie Murphy Asks $12 Million" [WSJ]