Social prankster Dina Reese’s home is getting a price cut

Deena Wynn Reese has listed her 1895 home on Riverside Drive for $55 million, a $10 million reduction.
Photo: Nest Seekers LLC

Oh, how far the Titans have fallen.

The $10 million price cut of 25 Riverside Drive is just the latest downturn for a mansion that fell into the trap of its previous owners.

Things started out well. Built in 1895 for the editor of a school book company, the Renaissance Revival building looked ideal for publishers’ literary salons, with a wood-paneled library fireplace and glass wall and ceiling panels designed by John La Farge and Louis Comfort Tiffany. The next owners were an engineer and then a banker, before the 12,000 square foot house found a new use as a home for the mentally ill.

Then, in 1996, David Ruiz and Dina Wen, also known as David and Dina Reese, took over the eight-bedroom house. According to prosecutors, Dina Reese dragged the house into a scheme that would defraud companies of millions. Reese was accused of luring mid-level executives at Fortune 500 companies with the promise of an $8 million contract and the ability to place their wares in untapped markets. When they delivered them at discounted prices, she sold their items through middlemen and amassed a fortune estimated at about $100 million.

The 1895 country house was designed by CPH Gilbert for publisher Henry Hobart Vail. It is located at the corner of 75th Street and Riverside Drive.
Photo: Nest Seekers LLC

To convince anyone that she had $8 million to throw away, Reese made the house look like part of the house. One Pharma executive described a meal being served in the dining room under three paintings by Thomas Hart Benton. A 2009 Architectural digest In her article, released after Reiss was indicted, she interviewed her designer — Samuel Botero — who stood in a room featuring an original Art Deco table and leopard-print armchairs. One FBI agent who raided 25 Riverside hotels described rooms so full of treasure that they looked like “King Tut’s tomb,” with luxurious furniture and paintings by Frank Stella, Andy Warhol and Amedeo Modigliani. luck She reported that she had a viral graffiti artist tag her private elevator.

But even without his excellent art collection, the house is stunning: seven stories on a corner lot, meeting 75th Street, with a three-story circular pavilion made prominent, and windows on two sides, facing Riverside Park. Original 1895 details have been preserved throughout, and the rooftop terrace is “large enough to seat 100 people,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Just renovated by Rees in 2022, it also has a conservatory, gym, mahogany stage and games room. Everything is impeccable, even the spaces her signs might not have seen — like a dressing room surrounded by mirrored Art Deco desks and lit by a chandelier dripping with emerald green glass.

Deena Reese pleaded guilty to fraud in 2011 and was forced to pay $8 million in fines and restitution to her victims. Some of the money may have come from the mansion: she rented it for $75,000 a month, according to the New York Times. mail. But that wasn’t enough: The house was listed last spring for $65 million, a somewhat out-of-reach amount, according to a broker. mail That “pricing is rich.” (Similar townhomes in the area cost $38 million.) She’s especially wealthy if you consider how little she and Ruiz paid in 1996 — just $2.15 million.

One executive who fell victim to Reese’s scam recalls being served by a private chef under three paintings by Thomas Hart Benton, which are shown in the center of the dining room and to the right.
Photo: Nest Seekers LLC

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