Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 10:23 AM
I was asked by Leigh Kamping-Carder, reporter at The Real Deal who was writing a story about the sale of the Rothschild Mansion to define what a “Mansion” actually was and could “townhouses” be considered mansions (like their suburban stand-alone counterparts)?
In Europe, a mansion included a “ballroom” and many bedrooms. In the UK and Asia, “mansion block”, “mansion” may refer to a block of apartments.
‘Manor’ comes from the same root — territorial holdings granted to a lord who would remain there — hence it can be seen how the word ‘Mansion’ came to have its meaning.
Definition (Big and Wide)
You’ll know it when you see it.
Here are some general guidelines I’ve gathered over the years to consider whether to consider a Manhattan property worthy of a “Mansion” designation. I think I’ll expand this to the suburbs, McMansions, in a later post.
Manhattan townhouses that have one or more of the following:
- 25′ wide or greater.
- Limestone or partial limestone facade.
- A7 tax classification (mansion types of townhouses).
- 10,000± square feet or larger.
- 5 stories or more.
…could be considered a mansion, but these are only loose guidelines. A 9,000 square foot, 23′ wide limestone townhouse could be considered a mansion.
No particular architectural style
No additional premium
There is no actual premium for the “mansion” designation other than the characteristics that comprise the definition. Those amenities already provide a premium over more generic townhouses (generic is a relative term). So I suppose you could say mansions sell for a premium, but not because of the given name, but rather for their combination of amenities that are already considered.
No double counting people!
Just think big and wide, and not this kind of “double-wide“.
Suggestions to refine my loose (big and wide) “mansion” definition are welcome!