337 Riverside Drive: River Mansion

  • Post category:HOH Book

337 Riverside Drive reigns over Riverside Drive from 106th Street, the northernmost corner of a block termed “Paris on the Hudson” for its exquisite design. Also known as River Mansion, the red-brick beauty with distinctive limestone ornamentation at the entrance door and windows boasts 8,550 square feet. It was designed by Robert D. Kohn, who also designed the home next door on 106th Street, as well as Temple Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue, the Fieldston School in Riverdale and the Society for Ethical Culture’s hall on Central Park West.

Completed in 1902, the mansion has been owned for many years by Sherri Brewer Bronfman, an actress known for her role in Shaft, and as a philanthropist and ex-wife of former Seagram chair, Edgar Bronfman Jr.  This week, the residence is serving as the annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House. While the show house designs are not how the Bronfman family actually decorated, this was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the building.

There are five stories, and typically two generously sized rooms per story, one on either side of a broad central landing large enough to be used as a separate room. On the main floor, a handsome entrance leads to an elevator on the left and the central stairway. The ceilings on at least some floors reach 12′ high and there are fireplaces in nearly every room, some of which face toward 106th Street, others toward Riverside Park and Drive. From the top floor, there are exceptional Hudson River views.

A third-floor room,  the family dining room and the same for the  show house, has an alcove on each side; one of those alcoves is currently arranged as a bar area and the other as a charming sitting room, two comfy chairs before the fireplace.

Apparently, during the Bronfman’s residence, the house held a baby grand piano, as well as 12′ tall Christmas trees, and a chandelier that, rather than being electrified, used candle light. A swimming pool was painted — yes, painted — on the roof, and a Bronfman grandson once dropped a nickel in the elevator treads, jamming the elevator door.

Intrigued? River Mansion can now be yours,  for a mere $24 million–Bronfman just put her home on the market.