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Opulent Upper East Side townhouse with secret tunnels sells for $41.5M

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Secret! Tunnels!

Photos by Travis Mark

One of the Upper East Side’s Gold Coast mansions is off the market. The opulent seven-bedroom limestone townhouse at 7 East 76th Street, built in 1898 by the firm Parish & Schroeder, sold for whopping $41.5 million. The home initially listed back in 2015 for an even more eye-popping $50 million, but it took a year and a half—and a couple of price cuts—to snag a buyer.

Update: The New York Post reports that the buyer is Huang Guangyu, a Chinese mogul who’s currently serving a 14-year prison sentence. Guangyu, who’s been called “the Bill Gates of China,” reportedly bought the home with his wife, Lisa Du Juan. It was sold by Japanese philanthropist Bun­go Shimada.

This particular home has quite a few interesting features going for it. Of particular interest are the secret passageways (!!!) that lead to and from several rooms, which is enough to justify some of that extravagant price tag. One links the library to the card room (yup, there's a card room), and another—hidden beneath a coat closet—leads to the basement. That’s pretty cool.

The home also has plenty of space to display art thanks to a previous owner, art dealer Sam Salz, who passed away in 1981. While he lived in the home, it was used as his salon, where he bought and sold works by painters like Renoir, Cezanne, and Degas. (Unsurprisingly, there’s a huge gallery on the entrance level.)

There are 20 rooms in total over six floors, with a lengthy list of amenities that includes the following:

  • 7 original fireplaces
  • 1 massive staircase that’s capped with a skylight
  • an entire staff floor with a catering kitchen
  • a wine cellar
  • a fitness room
  • a garden and a top-floor terrace
  • dressing rooms attached to nearly every bedroom
  • and a sixth-floor “penthouse arrangement” with a rec room and a huge solarium

(And yes, there’s an elevator)

The sale closed today, though it hasn’t hit public records yet, but according to a spokesperson for Sotheby’s (which handled the sale), it’s the single most expensive purchase for a townhouse under 25 feet wide in Manhattan. They could not comment on the identity of the buyer, but whoever it is, they’ve just acquired a truly unique piece of New York history.