We Explored A $31 Million Townhouse On The Upper East Side With A 23-Foot Indoor Waterfall

the waterfall mansion

Photo: Meredith Galante/Business Insider

The Upper East Side’s Waterfall Mansion, so-called for a 23-foot indoor waterfall that runs through it, has officially hit the market for $31 million.

We recently stopped by to chat with developer Kate Shin, who purchased the mansion in 2008 and spent four years renovating it, and to take a tour of the one-of-a-kind property.

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Shin said she expects a foreign buyer to purchase the mansion, most likely as a second home. The 120-year-old former carriage house on East 80th Street, near Lexington Ave., had been owned by a family with a heavy art background that Shin wanted to respect while renovating it.

She said that in designing the long, narrow mansion, she hoped the rooms and floors would flow.

“I really wanted to blend the classic townhouse with the modern,” said Shin a former hedge fund employee who counts the Waterfall Mansion as her first development project. “I really wanted to change the way developers handle townhouses. The city is getting more crowded and we need to re-think how we construct townhouses.”

The mansion is one of the only residential properties more 10,000 square feet to be LEED silver certified And unlike most townhouses in New York, the ceilings get higher as you go up, creating more space and light.

“This home is an investment,” Shin said. “I imagine this being in a family for generations to come.”

The door is becoming famous on the Upper East Side. At night, the light shines through and the leaves are illuminated on the sidewalk.

The mansion was a former carriage house.

Visitors enter the home through a gallery space. The buyer can display his own art collection, or rent it out.

Currently, the installations are all from emerging Korean artists based in Korea or New York.

The home gets its name from the 23-foot waterfall that starts on the ground floor.

The waterfall is designed with a slope, so there is minimal splash and the water is peaceful to the human ear, Shin said.

Currently, Shin changes the installations and furniture seasonally.

The gallery space is bare, with professional lighting so the installations and waterfall are the main attractions.

The living room is on the second floor. Shin staged the house to give potential buyers an idea of where to put things, but let the space remain somewhat bare so the imagination could run wild.

The home has more than 40 windows in it.

All of the cabinets are custom made.

The stove is fit for a chef.

From the dining room table, you can look down on to the waterfall.

The waterfall is lit by LED lights at night. There's also a projector on the second floor so residents can watch a movie on the waterfall.

The kitchen windows give residents a peek at some green space.

There's a sink, wine cooler, and island adjacent to the table, making entertaining easy.

The bathroom off the kitchen has a solid marble counter top.

The home currently almost resembles a museum.

The third floor has master bedroom suite.

It has large, floor-to-ceiling windows.

Right outside the master bedroom is a small outdoor area. The home has 2,000 square feet of outdoor space.

There's a deep tub in the master bath.

The master bathroom sink is funky.

Every floor has a space for art installations. This piece is currently on the children's floor.

This room could make a great nursery.

The home technically has nine bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms.

And a whopping 580 lighting fixtures.

Unlike most townhouses, the bathrooms in the Waterfall Mansion all have windows, thanks to a small cut-out space for a garden downstairs.

When the developer gutted the house, Shin ensured there was as little dead space as possible. For example, the closets stretch from floor to ceiling

The home has gorgeous natural light.

On the roof, Shin created a garden with real grass. The sprinklers go off every day so there is no maintenance on behalf of the owner.

She wanted to create a rooftop oasis with green space.

Downstairs in the basement, there's a 1,000 bottle wine cellar.

The basement also holds a spa that's completely soundproof, for true relaxation.

The basement has this huge, neon installation.

There's a sauna in the basement as well.

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