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National Academy Museum Chops $41M Off Asking Price for 5th Ave. Complex

By Shaye Weaver | March 24, 2017 10:45am | Updated on March 27, 2017 8:56am
 The National Academy Museum and School lowered its sale price by $41 million this year.
National Academy Museum
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UPPER EAST SIDE — The sweeping staircase, domed rotunda and extravagant hallways of the National Academy Museum can be yours for a cool $78.9 million — a massive discount from its original price tag of $120 million.

The three buildings that make up the museum complex along Fifth Avenue and East 89th Street — two connected townhouses at 1083 Fifth Ave. and 3 E. 89th St., and a school building at 5-7 E. 89th St. — can also be bought individually.

Once listed with Cushman & Wakefield, the buildings are now listed with Corcoran Group Real Estate deeply discounted from their original price last April.

Previously, the proprieties were offered as one unit, but now the townhouses are listed for $29.5 million each and the school building is listed for $19.9 million.

"If purchased together, the properties will be one of the most significant private homes in Manhattan due to the location, views and scale; it will also break the record for the most expensive private home sale in New York City, which currently stands at $53 million," Corcoran spokeswoman Anna Crowley said.

She did not respond to a question about the reason for the price cut or why the museum changed brokers.

A rep for the museum did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The buildings can only be used as homes, public institutions or community facilities, Crowley noted.

Once used as galleries, classrooms and studios, the buildings are currently vacant. The museum has been closed since June 1, 2016, and will remain so until it can find a new home, officials previously said.

The money the museum gains from the real estate sale would to go into a permanent, unrestricted endowment and generate funds for a new facility, officials said.

The National Academy — which has counted artist Chuck Close and architect Frank Lloyd Wright among its elected members — took up roughly 54,000 square feet total throughout the three buildings. The properties feature a grand staircase, a rotunda, high ceilings, several fireplaces and a view of Central Park.

The buildings have 28 feet of frontage on Fifth Avenue and 40 feet on East 89th Street, the listing states, as well as a private outdoor space between the properties.

The townhouse at 1083 Fifth Ave. was built in 1902 for Archer Huntington, a philanthropist, art scholar and heir to a railroad fortune. A large wing, connected by the rotunda, was added to East 89th Street in 1913 by architect Ogden Codman. The school at 5-7 E. 89th St. was built in the 1950s.

The buildings are located within the Carnegie Hill Historic District.