The maestro has left the building. Well, not quite. Rather, virtuoso violinist, composer, conductor, and classical music mandarin Itzhak Perlman is preparing to leave his longtime Manhattan home, hanging a $17.5 million price tag on his turn-of-the-20th-century townhouse on the Upper West Side. Now 76, Perlman has shared the mansion with his wife of 50-plus years, classically trained violinist Toby Perelman, since 1990, when they bought it for close to $2.1 million.
Built in 1901 and just half a block off Central Park, the 20-foot-wide brownstone stands six floors above ground with a surprise in the basement — a 35-foot-long indoor swimming pool, along with a dry sauna, shower and powder room.
A bit dated and frumpy but with many amazing original architectural details intact, this house feels more like a spacious and comfortable, well-lived-in home than a show palace meant to impress guests. The house spans about 8,000 square feet and is flexibly configured with six and potentially more bedrooms complemented by five full bathrooms and a quartet of well-placed powder rooms. An elevator services all floors, except the basement and top floor.
There’s another 1,500 square feet of outdoor space divided between the rear garden, a good-sized terrace outside one of the third-floor guest bedrooms, and a pair of rooftop terraces that flank a penthouse solarium with wet bar.
Other highlights include a 56-foot-long butter-colored great room with 12-foot coffered ceiling, inlaid parquet flooring, and two fireplaces; a massive kitchen capable of whipping up a banquet thanks to its two sinks, three dishwashers, two refrigerators, trash compactor, and walk-in pantry; a skylight topped and mirror walled dining room that spills out the petite rear garden.
There’s a cozily proportioned den off the living room, as well as several offices with built-in desks sprinkled throughout, while the primary bedroom shares the second floor with a tomato-red media room/library. It is in this room where the celebrated violinist, whose collection of rare antique instruments include the 308-year-old Soil Stradivarius, which he bought from Yehudi Menuhin in 1986 for more than half a million bucks, keeps his four Emmys and 16 Grammy’s on the mantel above the fireplace.
The listing is held by Richard J. Steinberg, Alexander Mignogna, and Emanuele Fiore, all with the Richard Steinberg Team at Compass.
Like many wealthy New Yorkers, the Perlmans have long kept a home in the Hamptons. In their case, it’s a 7.1-acre spread in a plum area of East Hampton, with two large homes, a couple of additional outbuildings, two swimming pools and a tennis court.