Sandra Galuten went from living in a $6 million, 15,000-square-foot mansion with marble floors and a cocktail lounge to a room in a Bronx hotel.
For decades, Galuten, 80, and her entrepreneur husband, Jerry, delighted in the 17-room Riverdale manor they lovingly renovated — a house originally built in 1928 by a kooky cult leader for the second coming of Jesus.
The house was constructed by Genevieve Ludlow Griscom, a wealthy businessman’s wife who belonged to the Outer Court of the Order of the Living Christ.
She and the other members never lived in the house meant for their messiah but regularly dusted it and polished the floors in anticipation of his return. Griscom would enter for an hour every day to play a pipe organ.
Jesus never came, and Griscom died in 1958. The property was given to the Archdiocese of New York, then nearby Manhattan College. It lay derelict for more than a decade before it was bought by the Galutens in 1987 for, Sandra says, “practically nothing.”
They rehabbed the mansion, located atop the city’s second highest peak. It featured a glass-ceilinged sun room, and a game room with sconces that once belonged to Clark Gable.
“It was a wonderful house because it flowed. It had 14-foot ceilings, a lot of chandeliers from The Plaza hotel, and I did the decorating,” Galuten boasted.
But clouds began to gather after Jerry Galuten’s death in 2007. With Social Security her sole income, Sandra claims, she fell behind on her city real-estate taxes.
She put the estate, at 360 W. 253rd St., up for sale. It was on and off the market for eight years and sold in January 2017. Its price tag plummeted from an original $15 million in 2009 to a final sale price of $6.25 million.
Galuten wound up with a “mere” $357,000, according to a lawsuit in which she accuses her broker of fraud.
“You learn in life to roll with the punches,” she told The Post. “I’m selling off my antiques and art.”
Galuten now lives in a chain-hotel with her dog, Coco. She asked to keep its location private.
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Source: New York Post