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6 McKim Mead & White houses for sale right now

Gilded Age perfection

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Welcome back to Period Dramas, a weekly column that alternates between rounding up historic homes on the market and answering questions we’ve always had about older structures.

There are few architectural firms more closely associated with the Gilded Age than McKim, Mead, & White. Charles McKim, William Mead, and Stanford White joined forces in the 1870s (McKim and Mead partnered in 1872 and were joined by White in 1879), and got their start designing summer cottages in the popular beach resort of Elberon, New Jersey.

By the end of the 19th century, the trio was designing houses for some of the most prominent families in New York City, among them the Vanderbilts, the Morgans, and the Pulitzers. They pioneered the Shingle style of residential architecture, worked regularly with Beaux Arts principles in mind, and were some of the earliest adopters of the Colonial Revival style.

Their work—which can be found all over America, but is concentrated on the East Coast—sought to establish and support their clients’ social status by referencing historic architecture, drawing particular inspiration from the palaces of Europe, early American houses, and the buildings of Antiquity.

They didn’t just design houses. They were also tapped to design libraries, like the Boston Public Library, stately governmental structures like the Rhode Island State House, and grand public buildings like the Classical masterpiece Pennsylvania Station in New York City (excuse us while we sob in its memory).

Their buildings became known for their elegance and opulence, a result of the architects’ meticulous attention to detail, sense of scale, and love for the unexpected. In one design, for a dining room, Stanford White cleaved a copper bed warmer in half and affixed it to the wall. That out-of-the-box thinking, combined with a respect for the past, made McKim, Mead, & White designs something unto themselves.

We can enjoy their work today by visiting one of the many public buildings that still stand, but if you’re a real die-hard fan (who also has some equally real money to burn) there are a few McKim, Mead, & White houses for sale right now. Lets take a look!

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1. 265 W 139th St ($3.5 million)

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265 W 139th St
New York, NY 10030

Designed by Stanford White in 1891, this townhouse was commissioned by real estate developer David King as a part of a housing complex originally known as the “King Model Houses.” White was just one of three architects who King commissioned to develop the block in Upper Manhattan, which has since become known as “Striver’s Row.”

Because it was, more or less, built on speculation, the house isn’t filled with custom details, but there is some beautiful woodwork, especially on the staircase. And this house’s claim to fame extends beyond its architectural provenance: It was also once owned by Bob Dylan.

2. Stone Lea ($6.5 million)

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40 Newton Ave
Narragansett, RI 02882

Completed in 1884, Stone Lea, represented by Lila Delman Real Estate International, is an oceanfront home in the coastal Rhode Island town of Narragansett. Like Newport, Narragansett was a popular summer destination. There’s even a mention of Stone Lea in a The New York Times report of social goings-on in Narragansett from the summer of 1886.

According to the report from the National Register of Historic Places, the house was extensively altered in the 1940s, which can be seen in the kitchen and a few other areas of the house. It makes sense, though: The house operated as a bed and breakfast for a while.

3. Sunnyside ($4 million)

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25 Old Beach Rd
Newport, RI 02840

McKim, Mead, & White worked often in Newport. Sunnyside—originally built for Commodore William Edgar—is one of their earlier houses in the storied summer community.

According to Mosette Broderick in her book Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White, this house is the firm’s first Colonial Revival design in brick. The house has, unfortunately, been altered over the years: The former dining room is now an informal living room, and what seems to have been a reception room has been transformed into the kitchen.

Thankfully, many of the interior details remain, which means that this would make for a triumphant renovation project.

4. Wild Moor ($8.6 million)

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21 Hammersmith Rd
Newport, RI 02840

We’ve actually written about Wild Moor in the past—way back when this column first launched! Over a year later, it’s still on the market, although it’s no less lovely, with its rough stone exterior and warm wood paneling.

The house was originally built on spec—the plans and drawings were bought from McKim, Mead, & White and then realized by the developer, John Glover. In Triumvirate, Broderick details that the plans were supplied to the original owner for $500. Not a bad deal, right?

5. Seven Sisters ($16.2 million)

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Edgemere Rd
Montauk, NY 11954

There are perhaps no more iconic—and desirable—Shingle Style beach houses than Stanford White’s “Seven Sisters.” Originally referred to as the “Montauk Association,” the seven houses were built by real estate developer Arthur Benson to take full advantage of the sweeping ocean views. Stanford White took care of the architecture while Frederick Law Olmstead headed up landscape design. Not a bad combo.

Two of the seven houses are for sale. The one pictured here is on the market for $16.2 million. The other comes with 170 acres of property. The price? $62 million.

6. Sands Point ($16.8 million)

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235 Middle Neck Rd
Port Washington, NY 11050

Completed in 1926, this is the latest house that we’ll see today. By the time the firm finished this mansion, both Stanford White and Charles McKim had passed away, leaving just William Mead and a team of architects. Mead passed away just a few years later, in 1928.

The French-inspired waterfront home has particularly impressive ceilings, most notably in the living room and library, which takes up the first floor of the turret.

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1. 265 W 139th St ($3.5 million)

265 W 139th St, New York, NY 10030

Designed by Stanford White in 1891, this townhouse was commissioned by real estate developer David King as a part of a housing complex originally known as the “King Model Houses.” White was just one of three architects who King commissioned to develop the block in Upper Manhattan, which has since become known as “Striver’s Row.”

Because it was, more or less, built on speculation, the house isn’t filled with custom details, but there is some beautiful woodwork, especially on the staircase. And this house’s claim to fame extends beyond its architectural provenance: It was also once owned by Bob Dylan.

265 W 139th St
New York, NY 10030

2. Stone Lea ($6.5 million)

40 Newton Ave, Narragansett, RI 02882

Completed in 1884, Stone Lea, represented by Lila Delman Real Estate International, is an oceanfront home in the coastal Rhode Island town of Narragansett. Like Newport, Narragansett was a popular summer destination. There’s even a mention of Stone Lea in a The New York Times report of social goings-on in Narragansett from the summer of 1886.

According to the report from the National Register of Historic Places, the house was extensively altered in the 1940s, which can be seen in the kitchen and a few other areas of the house. It makes sense, though: The house operated as a bed and breakfast for a while.

40 Newton Ave
Narragansett, RI 02882

3. Sunnyside ($4 million)

25 Old Beach Rd, Newport, RI 02840

McKim, Mead, & White worked often in Newport. Sunnyside—originally built for Commodore William Edgar—is one of their earlier houses in the storied summer community.

According to Mosette Broderick in her book Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White, this house is the firm’s first Colonial Revival design in brick. The house has, unfortunately, been altered over the years: The former dining room is now an informal living room, and what seems to have been a reception room has been transformed into the kitchen.

Thankfully, many of the interior details remain, which means that this would make for a triumphant renovation project.

25 Old Beach Rd
Newport, RI 02840

4. Wild Moor ($8.6 million)

21 Hammersmith Rd, Newport, RI 02840

We’ve actually written about Wild Moor in the past—way back when this column first launched! Over a year later, it’s still on the market, although it’s no less lovely, with its rough stone exterior and warm wood paneling.

The house was originally built on spec—the plans and drawings were bought from McKim, Mead, & White and then realized by the developer, John Glover. In Triumvirate, Broderick details that the plans were supplied to the original owner for $500. Not a bad deal, right?

21 Hammersmith Rd
Newport, RI 02840

5. Seven Sisters ($16.2 million)

Edgemere Rd, Montauk, NY 11954

There are perhaps no more iconic—and desirable—Shingle Style beach houses than Stanford White’s “Seven Sisters.” Originally referred to as the “Montauk Association,” the seven houses were built by real estate developer Arthur Benson to take full advantage of the sweeping ocean views. Stanford White took care of the architecture while Frederick Law Olmstead headed up landscape design. Not a bad combo.

Two of the seven houses are for sale. The one pictured here is on the market for $16.2 million. The other comes with 170 acres of property. The price? $62 million.

Edgemere Rd
Montauk, NY 11954

6. Sands Point ($16.8 million)

235 Middle Neck Rd, Port Washington, NY 11050

Completed in 1926, this is the latest house that we’ll see today. By the time the firm finished this mansion, both Stanford White and Charles McKim had passed away, leaving just William Mead and a team of architects. Mead passed away just a few years later, in 1928.

The French-inspired waterfront home has particularly impressive ceilings, most notably in the living room and library, which takes up the first floor of the turret.

235 Middle Neck Rd
Port Washington, NY 11050