THE DOMMERICH MANSION "A building's details, materials and social spaces should reflect their time, but they should also transcend it." Robert A.M. Stern
44 FEET IN WIDTH On the Gold Coast of Manhattan's Upper East Side - from East 60th to East 96th Street, from Fifth to Park Avenues - there are only 11 mansions that are 44 feet or wider, and no other house on the market is available at this extraordinarily rare width. Yet the most remarkable aspects of this particular mansion at 50 East 69 Street are the dazzling interior light, both front and rear, in a building of this width, and the stunning, classic limestone facade.
OTTO DOMMERICH Otto Louis Dommerich was the senior partner of L.F. Dommerich & Co., an international cotton factor firm founded by his father that had been in business for over 50 years with annual sales exceeding $ 15 Million in 1915. The New York operation was housed on Greene Street, with an additional 65 feet of frontage on Wooster Street, plus a third emporium on Worth Street. Dommerich also had extensive interests in insurance companies and was a director of twelve insurance companies. His 11 bedroom Rumson estate on 13 acres was purchased fully furnished and was adjacent to another massive estate owned by Jacob H. Schiff.
"BANKERS' COLONY" was "BILLIONAIRES' ROW" Just as many of today's billionaires are congregating around Central Park in an area that has come to be known as "BILLIONAIRES' ROW", the section of Madison and Park Avenues between East 68 and 71 Street was referred to as "Bankers' Colony" at the turn of the last century as so many prominent families in finance choose this particular location. "The most suitable site in all of New York for a dwelling would appear to be the southwest corner of East 69 Street and Park Avenue," as it "was not a matter of cost but rather one of choice that drove this decision" according to a published report in THE NEW YORK HERALD of Sunday, October 14, 1917.
It was noted in the press of the day that at the exact same time Dommerich was planning his magnificent mansion on East 69th Street, three other magnates, Henry P. Davison of J.P. Morgan & Co., William Sloane of W & J Sloane, and Harvey Gibson of Liberty National Bank were also erecting their mansions on the very same block between Madison and Park Avenues, intentionally choosing this location over Fifth Avenue. The fact that the four men who "wanted only the best selected the same corner" gave rise to the belief that "this corner is the best residential site in the city" and "developing what is to be Fifth Avenue's greatest rival." An article in 1916 announces that "There is no section which shows more promise of usurping much of Fifth Avenue's social prominence than Park Avenue."
THE ARCHITECT Henry C. Pelton demolished two earlier houses to create this mansion in 1917 The Dommerich Mansion is a Beaux-Arts beauty in the Neo French Classic style that instantly surpassed many of the palaces of Fifth Avenue. Elegant to the core, his design was a synthesis of classical themes to create a refined yet comfortable residence.Pelton later designed Riverside Church, funded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., considered to be the finest stone structure with stained glass of its era and the most prominent architectural work along the Hudson River from midtown to the George Washington Bridge.
BLUE LINEN FLOOR PLANS OF THE MANSION AS IT WAS ORIGINALLY BUILT ARE AVAILABLE
36 original drawings survive that encompass all details of the construction and most importantly show that the building is nearly column free, allowing for great flexibility in future design.
THE MANSION TODAY Currently configured as 7 levels plus a basement with 15 foot ceilings, this house offers 21,070sf above grade and 5,040sf below grade with over 3,350sf of outdoor space in a second floor terrace, a terrace off the solarium and an additional roof terrace possible