Go big, THEN go home: 6 NYC houses worthy of the "mansion tax"

By Virginia K. Smith  | November 21, 2014 - 1:59PM

News started circulating earlier this week that Mayor de Blasio is considering upping the state's so-called "mansion tax," a levy on sales of properties over $1 million. But as anyone who's looked at a NYC listing in, oh, the past 50 years could tell you, $1 million isn't exactly mansion money these days. But, incredibly, honest-to-god mansion mansions do still exist in New York, and a bunch of 'em happen to be on the market right now. (Technical definitions of what constitutes a mansion tend to vary—and plenty of brokers toss it around to describe a regular old townhouse—but generally speaking, you'll know it when you see it.) If you're going to get hit with the mansion tax anyway, may as well live up to the title, right?

This Park Slope mansion, once owned by Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany, recently hit the market for $14 million and was built in 1899 by architect Montrose W. Morris. Ornate woodwork and stained glass can be found throughout, and a balcony at the front of the building overlooks Prospect Park.

Brandeis University has used the so-called Vanderbilt Mansion on East 77th street—once the home of Reginald and Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt—as an alumni center since 1970. Now it's back on the market as a potential single-family home for $33 million.

This 21-room West Village mansion, built in 1844 and currently on the market for $24.75 million, has multiple outdoor areas, including a terrace, roof deck, and backyard, as well as a wet bar and library. 

The CPH Gilbert Mansion on the Upper East Side—so named after its celebrated Gilded Age architect—features a classic limestone facade and wrought iron gates, and faces north to optimize natural light on the interior. Its entertaining rooms were specifically designed as venues to show off its owners' (presumably impressive) art collections. That is, if you can afford an art collection after dropping $44 million on a house.

Another one designed by Montrose F. Morris, Bed-Stuy's John C. Kelley mansion—also known as the Moran mansion, after its current owner, Claudia Moran—recently hit the market for $6 million. Back in the 1980s, Moran bought the place as an illegal SRO, putting down just $7,500 and taking out a $99,000 mortgage. She's spent the intervening years bringing the place back to its historical roots—judging by the asking price, seems like an investment that'll pay off.


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