Jeffrey Epstein’s former New York mansion sells for $51 million
The historic Herbert N. Straus House — known more famously in recent years as the home of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein — just traded hands for $51 million.
One of New York City’s largest private residences, the 28,000-square-foot French Neoclassical mansion was raided by the FBI in 2019 as part of an investigation into Epstein’s sex trafficking allegations. It surfaced for sale a year later at $88 million and was most recently offered at $65 million.
The seven-story townhouse dates to 1930 when it was commissioned by Herbert Straus, son of the co-owners of the Macy’s department store chain. Prolific Gilded Age architect Horace Trumbauer designed the lavish mansion, which features French limestone strewn with carvings, sculpture figures, ornamental iron and 15-foot oak doors. It’s found in Manhattan’s Upper East Side a block from Central Park.
After Straus, it was used by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York as a hospital and later by Birch Wathen School as a schoolhouse. Billionaire businessman Leslie Wexner bought it for $13.2 million in 1989, and Epstein acquired it in the ‘90s.
Epstein, who died by suicide in a jail cell two years ago after being arrested on federal sex trafficking charges, transformed the estate into an eccentric space brimming with custom rooms and bizarre art during his stay.
It was most vividly profiled by Vicky Ward in a 2003 Vanity Fair article titled “The Talented Mr. Epstein.” Calling the home a “private Xanadu” filled with menservants, she noted an entry hall lined with individually framed eyeballs, a marble foyer with a sculpture of a twice-life-size naked African warrior, and an office with a stuffed black poodle atop a grand piano.
Epstein told Ward that “No decorator would ever tell you to do that. But I want people to think what it means to stuff a dog.”
A more recent listing photo shows that the home has maintained its formal style with crystal chandeliers, wood-paneled walls and marble fireplaces. Stone terraces on the upper levels take in views of Central Park and the New York City skyline.
The mansion is just one piece of Epstein’s country-spanning collection of real estate. He also owned a 7,500-acre New Mexico ranch with an airplane hangar, a waterfront mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., and a private Caribbean island known as Little St. James.
Adam D. Modlin of the Modlin Group held the listing.