An Upper East Side Townhouse with CIA History Hits the Market for $9.99 Million
A historic townhouse located in the prestigious Upper East Side neighborhood of New York City has been listed for sale at $9.99 million. This townhouse once belonged to Allen Dulles, the controversial first civilian director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The elegant home, situated at 239 E. 61st St., has a rich history. It was previously owned by Maria Morra and Noah Gottdiener, executive chairman of Kroll, Inc., a company that was hired by Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first post-Cold War president, in an unsuccessful attempt to locate missing Communist Party funds.
Featuring six bedrooms and 7½ baths, the turn-of-the-century home has also served as the headquarters for the Seagram Foundation, which hosted numerous gatherings at the location.
Allan Dulles, born in Watertown, NY, in 1893, was a prominent figure in the Cold War. Prior to his role at the CIA, he worked in the Office of Strategic Services in Switzerland. His brother, John Foster Dulles, served as President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State.
Before becoming a spy master, Dulles was an influential corporate lawyer in New York, representing several wealthy German corporations. During his time as head of the CIA from 1953 to 1961, Dulles was associated with controversial programs like Project MKUltra, which conducted illegal experiments on human subjects.
The townhouse spans 5,158 square feet and features an elevator, oversize windows, a rear garden, and a terrace. The interior showcases exquisite design details, such as handcrafted wood doors and intricate tile work overseen by renowned interior designer Alex Papachristidis.
A formal dining room decorated with Venetian plaster by Kevin Paulsen, known for his work at the Russian Tea Room, is located on the parlor level. A walk-by wet bar leads to the grand parlor with 11-foot-6-inch ceilings and original mantelpieces. The third floor currently serves as the main bedroom suite and a library, while additional bedrooms are situated on the fourth floor.
The listing broker for this unique property is M. Monica Novo and Melissa Post of Douglas Elliman.
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