Do you have a lot of money and the urge to really spread out? Are you looking to invest in real estate, specifically in a home whose dimensions reflect your need for horizontal sprawl? Consider 11 West 10th Street, an historic mansion in the Village that costs $50 million. Its most salient selling point: Being much wider than usual, and therefore, much better.
"There is simply no other renovated mansion at this phenomenal width so well located in Greenwich Village," the listing boasts, begrudgingly nodding to the existence of other area wide boys. Apparently, the super rich are out there buying up two or three townhouses at a time, then fusing them into chunky mansions. But this introduces its own raft of aesthetic problems, chiefly that everyone will be able to see the seams, or that you will end up with a two-tone house (quirky): "When today's buyer seeks extraordinary width in the Village, they must find two or more townhouses and hope the facades match," the listing explains. "There are several examples of assemblage in the Village in progress now, but it could be argued that none are as perfectly located as 11 West 10th Street."
Just how wide is this uncommonly broad home? 54.5 feet across, a really quite impressive figure, as the listing reminds us repeatedly. The average NYC townhouse reportedly measures 18 to 20 feet across, while "anything above 25 feet is called a trophy property (or a mansion)," according to City Realty. The wider your abode, the more valuable it becomes, because more width means improved air- and light-flow within your palace, City Realty insists, plus "wider, shorter rooms are easier to furnish than longer, narrow ones."
11 West 10th Street's listing promises that every room enclosed within its generously spaced walls "takes full advantage of the 54.5 feet in width," which (based on the pics) looks true enough. A long wall of windows looks out on an L-shaped garden, as if this were a G.D. Frank Lloyd Wright ranch house and not a cramped Manhattan backyard. A gratuitous seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, and three half-baths, done up mostly in soothing earth tones. In fact, this house — the Milbank House — "includes a wealth of rooms and possible layouts to accommodate bedrooms, activity rooms, grand-scale entertaining, and simple morning breakfast."
Here, an exhaustive inventory (emphasis mine):
- Deep forecourt garden for privacy
- Enormous kitchen and informal dining area facing the garden
- Formal dining room seating 25+
- Original leaded glass window bay in living room
- 2000-bottle wine room on the garden floor
- Third floor gym with terrace
- Home cinema seating 15+, and kitchenette and powder room
- Office with full bath
- Staff suite with full bath, kitchen, and private street entry
- Master suite with fireplace, sitting room, three walk-in closets, two baths, and a study
- Double-height library facing south with 21' ceilings
- Five (5) guest bedrooms with full baths
- High-speed elevator serves all floors, tandem entry on parlor serving butler's pantry
- Decked roof terrace with greenhouse
Yes, you truly can pack it in when your house measures 54.5 feet wide, but what business does this home have being so commodious in the first place? Thank its namesake: Jeremiah Milbank, "a pioneer of luxury townhouse living," per the listing, and a 19th-century entrepreneur who launched a very successful condensed milk operation with a fourth cousin of suspected axe murderer Lizzie Borden. According to realty lore, Milbank prized domestic width above all else, and built not one but two double-wide mansions in NYC. He built his personal home, on the Upper East Side, by merging two townhouses into one 48-footer (meh), as well as Milbank House, which he generously "donated to give young businesswomen very pleasant rooms and to serve them two meals a day in elegant surroundings," the listing states. Can't really think why, as this address was wider, which is to say — even though it shouldn't need reiterating at this point — superior.