Louis Marx Former Mansion to be Demolished
The fate of the Marx Mansion in Scarsdale, New York was decided at a Board of Trustees meeting on Valentine’s Day of all days. Scarsdale10583 reports that Trustee Stacey Brodsky announced that the Board would grant Anthony Scarcella a permit to demolish the house which has become “detrimental to the community” and has “adversely affected property values and the marketability of neighboring properties. The grand brick mansion was built in 1903 and was home to toy magnate Louis Marx, whose company, Louis Marx and Company was the largest in the world in the 1950s. Offering just over 9,200 square feet, the home originally sat on 20.5 acres before being purchased in 1985 to subdivide the land. Scarcella built 29 homes surrounding the Marx Mansion, leaving the original house on 1.75 acres. Scarsdale10583 mentions that in 1985 Scarcella sold the mansion to Alexander Radin for $550,000 and repurchased it from Radin’s estate for $2,500,000 in 2007.
Scarsdale10583 goes on to explain, Scarcella sought to preserve the house and build three additional homes on the property. In 2007 he was denied variances to subdivide the property and the Committee for Historic Preservation found that the mansion had historical importance and denied him the demolition permit. The property has been in litigation ever since and in December 2011 Scarcella asked for a hardship hearing. He presented engineers reports, estimates for restoring the property, and reports from an accountant and two licensed real estate brokers. After reviewing this data, and hiring an independent structural engineering company to evaluate the home, the Board of Trustees determined the following:
- There is severe structural damage to the house
- In one section the floor has collapsed
- The mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems all need to be replaced
- It would cost $3 million to restore the house
- When that $3 million is added to the $2.5 million Scarcella spent on the purchase, it was determined that he could not expect to receive a reasonable return on his investment by restoring it.
- The house has been on the market since March 2011 and there have been no bids
- The building is detrimental to the community and adversely affects property values
- The likelihood of continued litigation is not in the best interest of the community and would not further the community’s interest in historic preservation.
Therefore, the Board granted Scarcella the permit to demolish the home. Despite being granted the demolition permit, the home is still listed with Houlihan Lawrence for $2,995,000.