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A glorious Upper West Side townhouse, asking $20M, originally sold for $170K

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The couple who owns it purchased it for $170K in 1970

Via Compass

A massive 14-bedroom townhouse near Zabar’s on the Upper West Side is on the market for the first time in four decades, and it’s asking $19.95 million, the New York Post reports. The six-story limestone and brick townhouse is owned by Broadway producer Bill DeSeta and his wife Donna. The couple purchased this sprawling mansion, which comes with a private garage, for a mere $170,000 in 1970, so they’ll end up making a massive profit if they get anything close to their ask.

Making the townhouse livable in the 1970s was quite a painstaking task for the couple, the Post explains. At the time of their purchase, the townhouse, which was built in 1897, had fallen into disrepair and was being used as an SRO with 20 rooms, no toilets, and no kitchen.

But DeSeta decided to put his skills as a theater set designer to the test, and furnished and remodeled much of the home with the help of his friends and colleagues. For example, DeSeta built the bed and the closets in the master bedroom; he used old parquet floors to make the dining table; and one of his set designer friends built the grand staircase in the house.

His wife went one step further and decided to take a course in stained glass painting because the couple could not afford to buy the windows from a nearby church. In all, the couple spent $200,000 over two years to make their townhouse a home.

Some of the other notable features of the home include an elevator that serves all floors of the building, and a garden on the roof.

At present, the six story building is setup as an owner’s duplex with eight other apartments, but it will be delivered vacant, according to the brokerbabble.