Rothschild Manse, Almost Woody Allen’s, Hops from $15 M. to $35 M. to $25.5 M.

Five and half years ago, the Century Foundation‘s enormous brownstone at 41 East 70th Street nearly sold to Woody Allen and his wife, until he decided that renovating the place from offices into a house would take too much work. The house was asking $15 million.

Since then, the price of the townhouse–which Paula Del Nunzio, probably the most powerful townhouse broker in Manhattan, is calling the Rothschild Mansion, after its builder–has seesawed from $25 million in 2005, to $35 million in 2007, to $30 million in March 2009, then to $29,995,000 a few days later.

But Tuesday, according to the listing’s Web site, the price came down to $25.5 million. “All I can say is that the foundation has decided they would very much like to sell the building, and the price drop reflects that intention,” Ms. Del Nunzio said. “It has been very aggressively priced in the past. And now it’s priced reflecting the intention to sell.”

Still, even though the house’s tag is $4,495,000 lower than it was a week ago, and $9.5 million below its peak price, it’s also worth remembering that the foundation is still asking a shade more than they were in 2005, when the market was arguably a whole lot stronger than it is in 2009.

That’s just the way it is these days in the luxury Manhattan real estate world: People with 11,256-square-foot, 28-foot-wide, six-floor, four-fireplace mansions may be more humble, but they didn’t lose their ambition.

mabelson@observer.com Rothschild Manse, Almost Woody Allen’s, Hops from $15 M. to $35 M. to $25.5 M.