TAKE A LOOK | A decadent R520m Gilded Age mansion is on sale for the first time in half a century

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The James F. D. Lanier House is located in New York City.
Evan Joseph
  • A New York City mansion built in the twilight of the Gilded Age is on sale for $33 million. 
  • This is the first time the 9-bed property, which has its own spa, has hit the market in 40 years.
  • Known as The James F. D. Lanier House, the agent listing it calls it a "work of art."
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An opulent mansion located in Murray Hill, New York City, is on sale for $33 million.

The mansion is located in Murray Hill, New York City.
Evan Joseph, Google Maps

A staggeringly huge mansion located in the heart of Murray Hill, a historically influential neighbourhood in New York City, has hit the market for a whopping $33 million (about R520 million), according to Christie's International Real Estate listing. 

The home was built at the start of the 20th century, during a period when the surrounding neighborhood became a hub for Manhattan's elite, according to the Murray Hill Neighbourhood Association.

According to Christie's, James F. D. Lanier II — a wealthy banker – and his wife, Harriet, were the original homeowners.

The home was built in the early 1900s for James F. D. Lanier II and his wife.
Oscar White/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images, Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

In a press release provided to Insider, Christie's details that the mansion was built in 1903 as a home for James Franklin Doughty Lanier II – a banker and "pioneering automobilist" – and his wife, Harriet. 

The couple were prominent members of New York's high society at the time, making the cut of the 400 "fashionable" members of society listed by New York socialite Caroline Schermerhorn Astor, The New York Times reported in 1892. 

The home was built during a period known retrospectively as the Gilded Age.

The James F. D. Lanier House.
Evan Joseph

Emma Guest-Consales, President of the Guides Association of New York City who leads tours of Gilded Age mansions on Fifth Avenue and other neighbourhoods, told Insider the "Gilded Age" is a phrase applied retroactively to describe a period from the late 1870s to the early 1900s.

"The name is just what it implies — a thin veneer of gold covering humble or not so nice material, things underneath," she said. "The titans of industry built their fortunes on the backs of the abjectly poor. Workers were treated horribly, immigrants were discriminated against, racism and xenophobia were rampant."

Typical Gilded Age mansions were "large, lavish, and luxurious," much like the Lanier house today, Guest-Consales said.

The gallery.
Evan Joseph

Guest-Consales said standard Gilded Age mansions were "large, lavish, and luxurious," much like the Lanier house remains today. 

"They are often much larger than typical New York City townhouses, also known as 'brownstones,' with features including ballrooms, grand entrances, and monumental decorations," she added. 

Edward Joseph, the Christie's International Real Estate agent representing the sale, described the home as "a work of art."

The James F. D. Lanier House.
Evan Joseph

In the press release, Joseph said the property is more than just an opulent home built during the Gilded Age.

"This is not just a mansion, it's a work of art," he said of the nearly 11,700-square-foot, six-floor house. 

Speaking of works of art, the mansion is home to a white marbled gallery on the first floor.

The white marble gallery.
Evan Joseph

The awe-inspiring ivory white marbled gallery is located just steps from the front entrance. 

According to the press release, the space is illuminated by three leaded glass skylights and has a marble fountain carved into one of the walls trickling down with water. 

The 33-foot-wide property is equivalent to the size of two brownstone rowhouses, making it one of the largest single-family homes in New York City, according to the press release.

The dining room has space for up to 16 guests.
Evan Joseph

Given its history, it's no wonder the Lanier house has also been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1982, meaning it's been designated as a place "worthy of preservation."

The sleeping quarters include nine palatial private bedrooms and three staff bedrooms.

One of the nine private bedrooms within the Lanier house.
Evan Joseph

It's no surprise that a house of this magnitude built in an era all about opulence has numerous rooms for both residents and staff.

According to the listing online, there are a total of nine bedrooms — five of which are considered suites — with seven bathrooms, and three powder rooms. 

Elsewhere in the mansion, there is a designated staff wing with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. 

Ornate details throughout the home have been well preserved since the Gilded Age.

The James F. D. Lanier House.
Evan Joseph

Whether it be the parquet floors, the antique crystal chandelier, or the marble carvings, much of the original Gilded Age detailing within the home has been "meticulously" maintained by the current owner, the press release reads, though there have been some "thoughtful" renovations. 

Other timeless luxuries within the six-level mansion include a marble-topped bar and a temperature-controlled wine cellar.

The James F. D. Lanier House.
Evan Joseph

Gilded Age decadence may not be to everyone's taste, but some luxuries never go out of style.

Within the six-level mansion, some of these enduring features include a marble-topped bar area set within the club room, and a temperature-controlled wine cellar in the sub-basement that can house up to 1,000 bottles. 

A mahogany staircase spirals across four of the home's levels and provides access to an oak-paneled study on the second floor.

A mahogany staircase sprawls across four floors in the mansion.
Evan Joseph

Nothing says splendor quite like having the choice to go from floor to floor at home via a grand mahogany staircase or a wood-paneled private elevator. 

Taking either option would mean stopping by the second floor, where the oak-covered and gold leaf-adorned study room is located.

The jade-green grand living room, also on the second floor, oozes old money with a 12-foot ceiling.

The grand living room.
Evan Joseph

In a place as crowded as New York City, a home with ample space may very well be a luxury in itself. 

And an example of just how much breathing room can be afforded to the new owner of the Lanier mansion lies within the jade-green grand living room, which features a 12-foot ceiling decorated with a colossal chandelier.

Down below on the garden floor is a fully-equipped chef's kitchen and a breakfast room.

The James F. D. Lanier House.
Evan Joseph

The 400-square-foot chef's kitchen is equipped with Garland commercial fixtures, a gas range, Bosch ovens, dishwashers, three fridges, and a pantry.

There's also plenty of prep space throughout the center island and countertops lining the sides of the room, some of which look out through a window onto the quaint private courtyard outside. The garden floor also boasts a breakfast room, located right next door. 

The courtyard looks like a quiet oasis from the hustle and bustle of New York City.

The James F. D. Lanier House.
Evan Joseph

French doors leading from the breakfast room give access to a private courtyard on the property that has a stone fountain, various decorative statues, and ivy-clad trellises. 

The mansion does have a number of modern luxuries, such as a spa, but it's not hard to imagine feeling like an extra on the set of "The Gilded Age" once inside.

The new owner may feel like a character on HBO's "The Gilded Age."
Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images, Evan Joseph

Even though the mansion is also well equipped to suit a modern lifestyle, with a fitness center, massage room, hot tub, and cedar-wood sauna, it's not hard to see why Christie's has described the property as an "exuberant celebration" of the Gilded Age in New York City.

And a listing like this doesn't come around very often, Guest-Consales said. 

"They are quite rare," she said, as many of the Gilded Age mansions have been converted into commercial use, smaller apartments, museums, or consulates.

So, if you have $33 million to spare and perhaps are a fan of HBO's "The Gilded Age," consider snapping up this New York City rarity.

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