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19th-Century Upper East Side Mansion Seeks Grand Transformation For $31M

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The home could be restored to its "original grandeur" with the right buyer

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One of the Upper East Side's most impressive homes, the Scribner Mansion at 39 East 67th Street, is about to hit the market—but potential buyers should be willing to put in some work on the place.

After becoming available in 2014 for the first time in half a century, the home sold for $22.5 million. But despite having commissioned plans for a gut renovation (which were approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission last fall), the buyer is now looking to sell for a profit—the home will be listed by Stribling for $31 million.

That may seem like a steep price, but it's as much a reflection of the home's pedigree as anything: The nearly 12,000-square-foot mansion was originally built in 1876, but received a facelift by Ernest Flagg (the architect of the long-lost Singer Building) at the turn of the 20th century. Its most famous occupant was Arthur Scribner, the publishing magnate, but after his death it was turned into a (very fancy) rental property.

In its current state, the townhouse has only one room on the parlor level finished, and the rest of the space has basically been torn down to the studs. But there are plenty of distinctive features, including a large glass-enclosed solarium, period ornamentation (including eight fireplaces and lovely decorative molding), and the gorgeous limestone facade, which was added during Flagg's 1904 revamp. The LPC-approved expansion plans also call for a 1,520-square-foot rear addition. In the right hands, this could be a truly spectacular renovation…if you've got $31 million to spare, that is.