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After gut reno, Upper East Side's modernist Lescaze townhouse returns for $20M

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The townhouse has been transformed into three duplex rentals

The modernist townhouse at 32 East 74th Street—known informally as the Raymond C. and Mildred Kramer House, and designed in 1934 by architect William Lescaze—sold for $14.5 million back in 2015, but its new owners haven’t wasted too much time in gutting the place and getting it back on the market. It re-listed this week—seemingly as an investment opportunity—for $20 million.

PropertyShark

It’s been a long road for this house, whose minimalist exterior—composed of white stucco and the glass bricks Lescaze is known for—sticks out amid the more typically Upper East Side homes on the same block. It was on and off the market for seven years before selling to an anonymous LLC two years ago, and the condition of its interiors almost certainly had something to do with that.

In 2009, a broker who’d previously sold the place told the Observer that “People don't realize how much work is involved when they buy it; and then they don't want to do the construction and renovations that are really needed.”

But that didn’t seem to be an issue for the current owners, who transformed the home into “three beautiful duplex rental units,” per the listing. The top level has a three-bedroom unit with a cantilevered rear balcony, which is now a “large landscaped furnished terrace”; the middle unit is another three-bedroom; and the bottom level has two bedrooms and a den, along with a back patio.

The new apartments have been kitted out with all mod cons—central air, brand-new kitchens, Carrara marble bathrooms, a Sonos sound system, you get the idea—and are nice, though not as interesting as you’d hope, given the building’s history. (The glass bricks, at least, remain in the top two apartments.) There’s also a new, common roof deck for the building’s eventual residents.

There’s no floorplan with the new listing, but a previous one gives a sense of the old layout:

Correction: A previous version of this article included a photo of a home that was not 32 East 74th Street. Curbed regrets the error.