Image via New York CurbedOn the Upper West Side, a series of mansions stretch along Riverside Drive, offering a dazzling view of the Hudson River. Built in the late 19th century by a group of eight millionaires, the stately homes serve as a alternative to the exclusive mansions along upper Fifth Avenue. Out of the eleven houses built, No. 323 has a rather intriguing and scandalous history that makes it stand out from the rest of the mansions, as underscored by its distinctive red brick facade. Part of a lavish row of residences designed by C. P. H. Gilbert, No. 323 on West 74th Street was once rented by steel magnate Charles M. Schwab while his gargantuan French Renaissance style mansion, located directly across the street, was being built. The residence give him the unparalleled ability to oversee what would eventually become the largest mansion ever constructed in New York City. When Schwab finally moved into his newly constructed home, No. 323 was purchased by Robert E. Tod, who, along with his brother, ran a banking firm by the name of J. S. Kennedy & Company. In 1913, Tod sold the residence to a real estate firm, which, in turn, sold the home to an anonymous buyer giving rise to much speculation surrounding the purchase. The Sun, in a 1914 article, printed the following: “There is one other real estate mystery in Manhattan. It involves the ownership of the fine dwelling at 323 West Seventy-fourth street…Various stories have been heard as to the real buyer, but none of them could be verified. In fact, as has been said, it is one of the mystery properties of the city.” The story of the mystery owner would not come to light until years later, but when it did, the scandal stoked juicy parlor gossip for a very long time. It all began in the late 19th century:
Image via Compass
Image via CompassBecause the Gould family felt contemptuously towards Sinclair and her children, they fought vehemently in court for many of George Gould’s properties. The inheritance was ultimately settled with Sinclair receiving $ 1 million in liberty bonds and the children receiving a $4 million trust fund. Not one to stay widowed for long, she went on to marry the English viscount George St. John Broderick Dunsford later that year. After the settlement, the mansion was divided into “non-housekeeping apartments” and five years later, it was altered to “apartments.” Later, a penthouse was added to the roof, making a triplex apartment with the fourth and fifth floors. Today, the asking price for the six-story luxury mansion is a staggering $19.995 million. While there are yet to be any prospective buyers, the mansion has been rented to celebrities, including Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson. Next, check out 17 Gilded Age Mansions of Millionaire Row on NYC’s 5th Avenue and 6 Lost Mansions of the Upper West Side and Upper Manhattan.