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The Last Home Of Eleanor Roosevelt To Be Sold–Asking Price $20 Million

October 1, 2018

History and a view!

Mrs. Roosevelt served as first lady from 1933 until her husband’s death in 1945, making her the longest serving person in that role. After her time in the White House, Mrs. Roosevelt moved to New York, and was close friends with Dr. Gurewitsch. When he married, the three became close friends. (Mrs. Gurewitsch says there was never any romance.) In 1945, Mrs. Roosevelt became the first U.S. delegate to the United Nations. She also played a major role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Mrs. Roosevelt and the Gurewitschs jointly bought the house in 1959. Mrs. Gurewitsch, 94, said she and the former first lady had first toured another home on the same street, but were put off by its Republican owner, who turned her back to them as they explored the property.

The house they bought dates back to 1898, and was one of eight limestone townhouses built by architects Buchman & Deisler. Its very first owner was Benno Neuberger, a partner in tobacco dealer E. Rosenwald & Co., according to a report by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Mrs. Roosevelt was careful not to intrude on the Gurewitsches privacy when they lived there, wrote historian Hazel Rowley in her book “Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage.”

“She phoned before going upstairs. She tried not to play too large a role in their lives,” Ms. Rowley wrote. “But there must have been times when she felt just like [Edna’s] mother-in-law.” Mrs. Gurewitsch recalled how she and her late husband would often go downstairs to have dinner with Mrs. Roosevelt.

Dr. Gurewitsch died in 1974. The current owner Meera Gandhi and her former husband Vikram Gandhi purchased the home from Mrs. Gurewitsch in 1999, and converted it into a roughly 8,000-square-foot, single-family home spanning five levels with a private garden in the back. They raised their three children there; now that the children have grown up, Ms. Gandhi has decided to put the six-bedroom home on the market, she said.

On a recent tour of the townhouse with her listing agent Lisa Simonsen of Douglas Elliman, Ms. Gandhi lingered in the entry vestibule, with its marble floors and curved staircase, to show off a collection of Mrs. Roosevelt memorabilia, which included a letter from Mrs. Roosevelt’s attorney confirming the recording of her deed. It will be sold with the house.

 

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