House Design

Eleanor Roosevelt’s Upper East Side townhouse is on the market – take a look inside this stylish property

Explore the former First Lady’s Manhattan home – it also played host to President John F. Kennedy

Exterior of Eleanor Roosevelt house in the Upper East Side
(Image credit: Compass)

The only thing more desirable than an Upper East Side townhouse is an Upper East Side townhouse belonging to a former First Lady. That’s precisely the case with Eleanor Roosevelt’s former historic home – currently listed for $16 million.

The longest-serving First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt lived in The White House from 1933 to 1945, while her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, spent four terms in office. She is also recognized as an activist and diplomat after standing as an American Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. 

See: World's best homes – tour the globe’s most beautiful houses

In her later years, Mrs. Roosevelt was known to write a syndicated newspaper column, My Day, while overlooking 74th Street from her desk in the property. 

Entrance hall in Eleanor Roosevelt house in the Upper East Side

(Image credit: Compass)

Designed by Buchman and Deisler in 1898, the 8,500 square foot home was one of only eight limestone townhouses created by the celebrated architects. 

Throughout its long history, its six-bedrooms have played host to an abundance of dignitaries and influential figures, including the former President of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, and the 35th President, John F. Kennedy. Composer Leonard Bernstein also visited the home, because even the individual behind West Side Story can’t keep away from the allure of the East Side. The property was home to Eleanor Roosevelt until her death in 1962. 

See: Obama house: tour Barack and Michelle's new Martha's Vineyard home

Decor in Eleanor Roosevelt house living room in the Upper East Side

(Image credit: Compass)

See: Living room ideas – clever ways to decorate living spaces

The property's entrance hall is the epitome of New York sophistication – crowned with a Louis XIV chandelier that drapes from the period 12 foot ceilings. This grandeur continues throughout its modern white-glazed kitchen and media room that is drenched in sunlight from its 10 foot skylights and adjoining rear garden. 

Glossy white kitchen in Eleanor Roosevelt’s house in the Upper East Side

(Image credit: Compass)

See: Kitchen ideas – decor and decorating ideas for all kitchens 

The entire townhouse spans over five floors and has five and a half bathrooms - one of which boasts a large marble soaking tub where you can bathe away the hustle of the city. 

According to listing agents, Compass, this newly renovated home has enough room to accommodate up to 500 guests - so we have the feeling that somebody is going to throw the biggest housewarming party New York has ever seen, post-pandemic, naturally. 

ssing room in Eleanor Roosevelt’s home in the Upper East Side

(Image credit: Compass)

See: Bedroom ideas – designs and inspiration for beautiful bedrooms

The top floor includes a private verdant jungle – above the concrete jungle – so you can raise a glass over Central Park and the prestigious Carlyle Hotel on the neighboring East 76th Street. 

Rooftop terrace on the top floor of Eleanor Roosevelt’s house, views across New York City

(Image credit: Compass)

Benjamin Glazer and Dimitrios Alevizos hold the listing at Compass. 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly enjoys writing about upcoming styles and trends for Homes & Gardens. Megan also loves discovering vintage pieces in her spare time, meaning her decor is largely influenced by the beauty of the jazz age.