Step Inside The Schinasi Mansion ~ The Last Detached Single-Family Home in Manhattan

 

 

 

Schinasi Mansion, 351 Riverside Drive. Photo credit @evanjosephphoto

The Schinasi Mansion, located at 351 Riverside Drive, is the last remaining detached single-family home in Manhattan used as a residence. Built in 1907, the 12,000 square-foot, neo-French-Renaissance style structure was designed by William Tuthill – the architect who designed Carnegie Hall. It was commissioned by the Turkish tobacco baron, Morris Schinasi. Schinasi, who lived there until his death in 1928.

Schinasi Mansion, 351 Riverside Drive. Photo credit @evanjosephphoto

Morris Schinasi (c.1855-1928) has an interesting background. As an Ottoman Jewish immigrant, he arrived in the United States in 1890, bringing nothing more with him than a cigarette rolling machine ~ rivaling the hand-rolled method of the day. When his brother, Solomon, joined him in New York, they established the Schinasi Brothers Company, featuring  what they advertised as Egyptian Prettiest cigarettes rolled with Turkish tobacco. Their company, with its factory on 120th Street and Broadway, was a huge success.

Schinasi Mansion, 351 Riverside Drive. Photo credit @evanjosephphoto

The mansion was updated in 1929, retaining almost all of its historic detail, including a trap door leading to a twenty-foot-long tunnel in the basement that once extended to the Hudson River. One of the well-known hand-carved pieces of décor within the home is the pineapple – a symbol of hospitality. It is repeated throughout all of the carvings.

Schinasi Mansion, 351 Riverside Drive. Photo credit @evanjosephphoto

You might remember the mansion as the TV home of June on the series ‘White Collar‘. This corner-lot mansion boasts twelve bedrooms and eleven baths.

Schinasi Mansion, 351 Riverside Drive. Photo credit @evanjosephphoto

The mansion, which overlooks the Hudson River, has changed hands several times since Schinasi’s death, including its time as a finishing school for girls. Sitting empty for several years, and in great need of work, it last sold in Jan 2013 for around $14 million.

Interior details include intricate marble-trimmed mosaics. Schinasi Mansion, 351 Riverside Drive. Photo credit @evanjosephphoto

We should mention that Morris Schinasi’s brother Solomon bought the Isaac L. Rice Mansion at Riverside Drive and 89th Street after the panic of 1907, when the Rice family was forced to sell their home.

Morris Schinasi. Image via Wikipedia

The Schinasi House is located at 351 Riverside Drive at West 107th Street. It was designated a New York City Landmark on March 19, 1974, noted as a fine example of the neo-French Renaissance style. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 23, 1980.

We can’t close without acknowledging Evan Joseph Photography for their amazing images of the Schinasi Mansion. We will be following on Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Step Inside The Schinasi Mansion ~ The Last Detached Single-Family Home in Manhattan

  1. Sorry, no. You need to get up into northern Manhattan more. There are a number of single family, detached homes.

    1. It is described by historians (and Wiki) as “the last remaining detached single-family house in Manhattan that is still used as a residence” What I did wonder about was the Charles Street house. But that strucction was not mentioned, perhaps because it was moved? (and, I do live in Northern Manhattan 🙂

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