By Carter B. Horsley
This is one of the more attractive and luxurious
apartment buildings in New York City. Unlike its few peers at
the top of the residential ladder, this one has managed to maintain
quite a low profile over the years at least as measured by celebrity-watchers.
Palatial and finely detailed, this 15-story
building has only 16 apartments and a great location across from
Central Park, close to midtown and on a quiet street.
It was designed in very dignified, Italian
Renaissance-palazzo style by Starrett & Van Vleck, who also
designed the very similar, but substantially larger apartment
building across the street at 820 Fifth Avenue, one of the city’s
most prestigious addresses. Both buildings were erected in 1916.
Unlike 820 Fifth Avenue, this building has replaced its multi-paned
windows with large picture windows, which makes for more dramatic
views but at the same time detracts from its fine architecture.
This building was converted to a condominium
in 1974. It replaced two townhouses, one of which was designed
by R. H. Robertson in 1885 for Charles T. Barney.
This building has a doorman and a sidestreet
entrance, but no garage and no balconies.
In a January 6, 2008 article in The New
York Post, Janon Fisher wrote that Steve Wynn, the casino operator,
had filed a suit in December, 2007, against the building for water
damages in his apartment from a pipe break in 2004. According
to the article, he "had purchased the 3,900-square-foot apartment
in 2001 for $7 million from Mirage resorts, the casino company
that he sold for $4.4 billion the year before. Mirage had bought
it in 1995 for $1.6 million." The article also noted that
Richard Gere, the actor, had sold his 10-room apartment in the
building "in 2004 for $8.75 million - a million dollars less
than he paid for it," adding that it had then been purchased
by Mariella and Edmond Safra, nephew to billionaire banker Edmond
Safra, who was murdered in 1999." (1/6/08)