Nobody wants a Versailles in New York

An exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum recreates from the middle of last month the experience of visiting the palace of Versailles at its best, since Louis XIV moved the court there in 1682 until the monarchy was expelled with the French Revolution of 1789. Paintings , sculptures, tapestries, lamps and porcelain bring back the lavish atmosphere of the palace, which is visited by New Yorkers and tourists today.

Versallesque passion, however, does not reach the great pockets of New York. Or, at least, not to put a stack of millions for a mansion inspired by the pompous style of the French Bourbon. The number 163 East 64th Street, which has been described as the "Versailles in Manhattan," has been 15 years without finding a buyer.

Its exterior appearance is elegant, in red brick and limestone, neo-Georgian style. Inside, it evolves to a more overloaded and baroque character. It has an original English pine wood bookcase, a Louis XIV style drawing room with ten large canvases inspired by one of the most famous rooms of the Frick Collection - a New York museum in which it was the mansion of one of the richest families of the city- and bedrooms with grandiose headboards and drapes.


It is very possible that the style of the house does not convince everyone. The big drawback, however, seems its price. Its owner, Kenneth Laub, took it out for sale in 2003. In December 2007, he asked for 35 million dollars for it. It was a time of skyrocketing real estate prices, there were still months to go before the toxic mortgage crisis erupted. But that seemed too much for a house that has other shortcomings: it's not as close to Central Park as the billionaires on the Upper East Side like and it does not have much outside space (instead of the usual garden for these mansions, it has a terrace in the rooftop).

Since then, the mansion has passed from hand to hand from luxury real estate agencies. None of his most seasoned agents was able to find a buyer. And that its price has fallen off: in July 2011, it dropped to 29.95 million; in June 2013, at 27.5; in 2015 it had two falls: they asked for 25 and 23.9 million.

Laub, a 79-year-old commercial real estate millionaire, is perhaps aware that he is asking too much for the mansion. He bought it for $ 4 million in 1986 and at one point it seemed he did not mind keeping it if he did not do a big business. Did your emotional connection make you believe that its price is greater than what the market can afford? "If I put it too expensive, I do not care. If someone thinks it is worth what I believe, they will buy it. If not, they will not. And it is not the end of the world in any of the cases, "he said in an interview with" Observer "in 2009, when the label still said" 35 million. " Now, it seems that Laub changes his mind, and for the first time is in the market for less than 20 million: 19.75 million dollars.

Perhaps this last reduction will change the fate of a mansion that, in the New York real estate circle, is considered cursed.

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