Inside Stephen Sondheim’s impressive New York City Townhouse – on the market for $7 million

The former home of iconic music composer Stephen Sondheim has been listed on the market for $7 million

Traditional living room with grand piano
(Image credit: Compass)

The NYC home of legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who is celebrated as one of the world’s most influential figures in musical theater, has been listed on the market for an astonishing $7 million, claiming its place as one of the world's best homes.

The townhouse, which dates back to the 1860s, is one of 20 other homes which collectively comprise ‘Turtle Bay Gardens’: a neighborhood of homes located on 48th and 49th Streets between Second and Third Avenues, joined by a private communal garden. Rich with history, previous owners of these iconic Manhattan homes include the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Maxwell Perkins, and Garson Kanin.

Outdoor terrace of NYC home

(Image credit: Compass)

The seven-bed property was purchased by Sondheim in 1960, who spent much of his life living in New York City. As explained in the book Manhattan’s Turtle Bay, Sondheim opted for a townhouse so that he could play his piano whilst minimizing the disturbance to the neighbors. 

Sondheim explains in the book, 'I realized that with the royalties from the recent success of Gypsy, I could afford a down payment. And then I rented out the top three floors of the townhouse to help me pay the mortgage.'

Sondheim held onto the home until his passing in November 2021, where he resided in his later years with his husband Jeff Romley.

The traditional townhouse is an impressive residence; designed for lavish entertaining it boasts a chef’s kitchen, multiple living room spaces, and a 30-foot terrace. The home has been maintained beautifully and we've been swooning over the images which are full of traditional-style design inspiration. 

Wood-panelled foyer

(Image credit: Compass)

The entryway opens up to a wood-paneled foyer, complete with a midnight-blue tiled barrel-vaulted ceiling, which leads into the decadent living room.

Traditional living room

(Image credit: Compass)

Living room with stained glass windows

(Image credit: Compass)

Featuring chevron-pattern wooden flooring and mahogany detailing, the living space is complete with period moldings and stained glass windows.

dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows

(Image credit: Compass)

The dining room has large, curved windows which uplift the home with lots of natural light. 

stainless steel kitchen

(Image credit: Compass)

The chef's kitchen is located on the first floor and features custom steel glass-fronted cabinetry and stainless steel countertops. 

green tiled bathroom

(Image credit: Compass)

On the fifth floor, one of the bathrooms has been recently renovated with a modernized shower and floor-to-ceiling tiling. 

Traditional office room

(Image credit: Compass)

Continuing the chevron-patterned flooring and dark-stained furniture theme, the office space features built-in cabinetry and a fireplace.

hallway with striped wooden floor

(Image credit: Compass)

Striped wooden flooring features in one of the upper hallways, alongside a curved handrail.

 Michael J. Franco of Compass currently holds the $7,000,000 listing. Photos courtesy of Compass.

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.