The late Joan Rivers’ Manhattan penthouse goes on sale for £18,200,000
The late, great Joan Rivers’ New York apartment is as lavish in its décor as her tongue was in its acerbic wit. Of it, she once stated: “This is where Marie Antoinette would have lived if she had the money” and now it has placed on the market by her daughter, Melissa, for a price of £18.2 million ($28 million).
Originally conceived as one giant mansion for “Gilded Age millionaire” John S. Drexel and his wife Alice in 1903, 1 East 62nd Street was designed by the renowned architect Horace Trumbauer (1868 – 1938). The penthouse – added later – was purchased by Rivers in 1988 and now forms one of just eight apartments in the building.
Joan Rivers (1933 – 2014) spent lavishly to create her perfect home and is said to have proudly described the décor as being “Louis XIV meets Fred and Ginger”. Configured to suit the needs of a wealthy, single woman who liked to entertain, the main part of the residence focuses on a double reception room that combines a ballroom and music room. At approximately 61-foot in length and with ceiling heights of 23-foot, this vast space was where this much celebrated entertainer liked to host a grand Thanksgiving celebration every year.
Additional rooms on the entertainment level include a library, dining room and a terrace. On the floor above, Rivers created a luxurious suite for her own occupation complete with a bedroom, a vast walk-in-closet for her lavish collection of clothing, a private terrace overlooking Central Park South and a bathroom in which she is said to have enjoyed painting at an easel that was set out for her. The floor is completed with an area set out to house a member of staff.
For guests, a separate set of rooms was created on the lowest level of the triplex. The accommodation includes a dining room, a kitchen and two bedrooms suites. The total floor space of the entire three-level apartment is approximately 5,100 square feet.
As she wanted to be closer to her daughter, Rivers – who also owned a country house in Litchfield County, Connecticut – tried to sell the apartment in 2009 for £16.3 million ($25 million) but failed to find a buyer. Subsequently, accompanied by Rivers announcing that “this is to placate my business manager”, the penthouse was placed on the market again in 2012 and then 2013 for £19.2 million ($29.5 million). Buyers were told: “Come with a bag full of money, otherwise we’re not going to do it”.
The penthouse at 1 East 62nd Street, off Fifth Avenue, is being marketed through Leighton Candler of the Corcoran Group. Whether any buyer will be able to see past Rivers’ opulent tastes in decoration remains to be seen.
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