The Gustav Mayer House was built in 1855 by New York Militia commander David Ryers and changed hands in 1889 to Mr. Mayer. The home would be owned by Gustav (one of the original 114 bakery owners that made up Nabisco) and his family until the 1980s. His two daughters, who lived into their 100s, were so reclusive that they refused to leave the home, lowering baskets out of windows to collect groceries, laundry and mail.
The house was chipped and fading when its new owner purchased the 7,700-square-foot, 10-bedroom home in 1990. He immediately remodeled the first floor into a stylish and trendy living space but, in a moment of inspiration, left the rest of the home in its eerie state of decay as a fashionable and ghostly hotspot for high-end magazine photo shoots. High-fashion names like Elle, Vogue, Fossil, and W have done photo shoots behind the crumbling upstairs walls. With fashion-friendly décor and views of Raritan Bay, the Staten Island home is for sale asking $1.74 million, reduced from $2.31 million.