Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Little Floor Plan Porn For the Weekend

SELLER: Estate of Araxia M. Buckhantz
LOCATION: Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
PRICE: $30,000,000
SIZE: 2 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama needs to interrupt our fine and lovely weekend in order to bring the hungry children some serious New York City floor plan porn. The highly anticipated listing for a full floor unit at the posh (and restrictive) building at 834 Fifth Avenue has hit the internets with an expected but still breath taking asking price of $30,000,000...for a two bedroom apartment with monthly maintenance charges of $9,538 according to listing information.

The 13th floor unit is offered for sale by the estate of the fabulously named Araxia M. Buckhantz,. Although Your Mama would like to offer the children all kinds of biographical details about Miz Buckhantz, a cursory search of the internets turns up very little 411 other than that she's the cuzzin of monocled "playboy oil magnate Nubar Gubkian" and that she passed on to the big oil man in the sky in the fall of 2008 at the ripe old age of 101.

The floor plan shows the sprawling 2 bedroom and 3.5 bathroom co-operative apartment has one private elevator landing, 12 rooms, four exposures (north, south, east and west), four fireplaces, 12 foot ceilings, two or three terraces depending how one counts, at least 11 closets including four walk-ins and one cedar lined walk-in, and a staff suite located, natch, behind the kitchen that includes three prison cell sized bedrooms that share a single bathroom and a small servants hall where the live-ins surely kicked off their shoes and gossiped about and mocked the mistress of the house and all her filthy rich friends. That's right. All you rich folks are just fooling yerselves iffin you think your staff ain't talking shit behind your couture and bespoke suit clad backs.

A 27-foot long entrance gallery leads to a 37-foot long living room which listing information indicates features pulchritudinous paneling from the George III period and access to a narrow terrace that positively hangs over Fifth Avenue and Central Park. A solarium–a somewhat silly architectural folly Your Mama finds is typically reserved for the unusually rich–sits adjacent to and beyond the living room and a guest terlit that offers visitors a soo-blime Central Park view while they do their dirty bizness.

Listing information indicates the library is wrapped in 18th century George II pine (whatever that is) and the dining room, with French doors leading to two terraces, is "castle-like" which Your Mama thinks could either be really good or a complete decorative disaster. The kitchen, which may or may not be renovated and/or up to date, is large enough to eat in (as if people this rich eat in the kitchen) and can be accessed either through a closet lined hallway off the entrance gallery or through the large, windowed butler's pantry adjacent to the dining room.

Each of the two bedrooms have large and private poopers, as they better have for thirty million clams, okay?

Current residents of the obscenely uppity Rosario Candela designed building include Alfred Taubman, the owner of the Sotheby's auction house that recently did a little time in the big house, Harry Crosby, the fifth son of Bing, billionaire banker Mark Rachesky and his wifey Jill who prop records reveal paid $33,444,500 for their dee-luxe doo-plex digs in October of 2007, legendary Broadway producer Harold Prince, and former CEO of Salomon Brothers John Gutfreund whose wifey Susan once famously, pompously and dare we say wisely said, "It's very expensive to be rich." Well, indeed it is Missus Gutfreund.

Other past (or perhaps present) residents of 834 are said to include Charles Schwab, Elizabeth Arden, Leslie Wexner, John DeLorean, Robert (Woody) Johnson IV, and Loida Nicolas-Lewis, widow of food and grocery tycoon Reginald Lewis who were the first–and as far as we know the only–people of color (he was African American, she Filipino-born) to live up with the otherwise very pale-skinned residents of 834.

However, perhaps the king of the money mountain at 834 is the multi-billionaire media mogul who owns the tremendous triplex penthouse in which Laurance Rockefeller resided for some 50 years. Prop records and multiple reports from the time show that back in 2005, Mister Rupert Murdoch and his much younger wifey Wendi Deng scooped up the triplex building topper for a stomach churning, teeth chattering, bone chilling and, at the time, record setting $44,000,000. The couple then proceeded to give the three floor and multi- terraced aerie a massive makeover which reportedly includes a home gym with construction costs estimated at $400,000.

All the New York City real estate gossips with surely be burning up the phone lines and chomping at the bit to get the inside scoop on who tours at the high priced pad and, of course, which mega-moneyed magnate will pass muster with the notoriously persnickety board.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Has Mama been hitting the G&T's? This post has some interesting repetition (such as the two paragraphs about Murdoch). Love the porn though.

WrteStufLA said...

What's with the staircase that's located between the Kitchen and the Entry Gallery? Is this actually a duplex? (I assume the building's staircase is adjacent to the service entrance.)

Anonymous said...

I never realized how much I missed floor plan porn until I saw a little more.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA one of the articles the post links to says:

"Nubar is so tough that every day he tires out three stockbrokers, three horses and three women."

That's my kind of guy!

Natalie said...

Wow.


Just wow.

Anonymous said...

The kitchen, master bath and pantry all seem to be an enormous waste of space. I imagine that if the floor plan were tweaked, an additional room for entertaining or private family enjoyment could have been carved out of the wasted square footage.

Royal said...

To answer the earlier question, according to one of the Observer articles the apartment was originally the first floor of a duplex, which explains why there are stairs shown on the floorplan--and also why it is only a two bedroom. I would imagine that this is an older floorplan and the stairs were removed at some point, but we'll have to wait for photos to see.

timtimtim said...

I don't know why, but 834 never appealed to me. I think 820 is a much nicer building..

Baroness Rebecca said...

Maybe the staff eats in the kitchen and the Servants Hall actually has comfy chairs and a TV. Or is that too optimistic?

Anonymous said...

The pantry has a sink counter so I'm guessing more of a "butler's pantry" than what most of the children use to stash their cereal boxes and cans of soup.

There is a fireplace in the middle of the wall between the master bedroom and master bath. One could possibly use part of the bath as closet and eliminate the closets between the bedroom and living room to make the bedroom 23.5' x 20.8' but that isn't a lot of bang for the buck. Plus losing the sound buffer between the bedroom and living room....

The public spaces are VERY roomy. How many freakin' people would one want trapsing around their apartment anyway?

Dorian said...

Hi Mamma!

I just wanted to thank you for your concern with us 'children' and for your love of keeping us abreast of all things luxury property related.

I visited the blog run by the gentleman Mark Knowles and he highly praised your site. Man has excellent taste and impeccable manners!

From where I sit (okay, lay in the sun) her in Los Angeles, CA, I lift my luscious mint julep to Mr. Knowles and to you and Dr. Cooter for your heartfelt efforts! Cheers!

Babe Parish said...

Araxia= the new name of my black metal band.

goood stuff. love the gallery!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Mark Knowles the ass that trashed Mama last year when Google inadevertantely served up a risque ad next to an ad his employer posted?

I just checked, yes..it was him. And someone else said it best (and Knowles is apparently proud of it since he has it as part of his own bio) -

"Mark Knowles is a Douchebag"

Wonder if he still has that photo site with the nude underage girls?

lil' gay boy said...

Classic Candela.

Anonymous said...

I think those fat lazy NYNY women would grave this place and date the new owner even if he is 20 years older.

Anonymous said...

6:47 - Bowl of sour oats for breakfast this morning?

Wil said...

First, Natalie is hot! Second, Mrs. Reginald Lewis is Asian, thus her late husband was the first black to live at 834, and Mrs. Lewis the first Asian.

Anonymous said...

Natalie who? On second thought, nevermind..don't care since Mama isn't talking about anyone named Natalie.

designslinger.com said...

thanks for the porn!

Anonymous said...

Just one more complaint...as if I live in a home that is even 1/30 as great as this:

The kitchen layout isn't exactly efficient. The stove is so far away. I very much favor the standard "triangle" layout for appliances.

Then again, when you have at least three servants looking after every one of your needs, I guess you aren't too concerned about the layout of your kitchen.

luke220 said...

My aunt's best friend lived at 834. One of my childhood memories is that she paid $3,000 per month coop fee in 1970. The bathtub overlooking the zoo was the height of opulence to my young eyes.

Anonymous said...

I hate it when my walk in closet is so big it has an emergency exit in it.... Mariah had that in cribs too.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and this place will sell for half this price maybe next Christmas.

Starck Mad said...

THAT is one big '2-bedroom' apartment....though it does have the staff 'wing'.

I tried to Google this 'Anthraxia' woman, but alas found nothing.

Love the 'planting terrace' off the staff wing.

Anonymous said...

The rich live in their library.

Anonymous said...

This apartment will be a good test of the Madoff Effect on New York property values. Lots of "wealthy" New York families had one-half of their money with Madoff and one half with Sanford Bernstein ... and the rest of the net worth tied up in real estate. Now those families have lost all of the Madoff money, may have to replay to the Madoff insolvency estate everything they received for the past SIX YEARS (count it: that could be about 90 per cent of the total amount invested with Madoff), have lost more than half of the money placed with Bernstein (which has done nothing wrong other than bad investments, as far as I know) ... and have to liquidate much of the remaining real estate PRONTO. Word from Palm Beach is that some Madoff victims have been turning their properties over to auction houses to get some cash FAST ... but with huge losses.

In other words: there's not nearly as much money in and around New Yorlk these days chasing $30 million apartments. To many of those who would have bene buyers a year ago are spending their time these days considering whether to roast the family Pekineses for calories to hold off the hard winter.

I'll guess that these digs will go for, maybe, $10 Million. And the heirs will be happy to get it.

Anonymous said...

Apartments just don't get better than this, though it will be interesting to see if the market will hold up to support this price range. But I doubt that the Crosby in the building has anything to do with Bing...

Sydney Harbour-Bridge said...

This whole sad and sorry Madoff thig really sticks in the gut, as many investors will be all but bankrupted by this. And I agree that this is a big ask, way to big for the current market. I'll take it for 1m.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:46, did you read the link reference in the post...it cites the Crosby in the building as the son of Bing Crosby.

Anonymous said...

Buying at this price will be as smart as buying Citigroup last year at 30.


Ps it is now at 3 bucks.

luke220 said...

Not to be critical, but the flow of this apartment is awkward. The lower floor homes have more balance. The master bedroom is small (and I would prefer the park view from my master), there is limited closet space, and there should be more separation between the sleeping areas and the public spaces. It will take a lot of work to bring this apartment up to modern standards. Whew, I just saved $30 million.

Anonymous said...

Since this is obviously an original floor plan (since it shows a staircase going to an upper floor that isn't part of the original apartment anymore), I wonder how much else has changed over the years? I'd love to go in an apartment like this - but I'd want to see it BEFORE renovation and all original.

Anonymous said...

Where does that stairway off the gallery lead to? Was this a duplex and they just got lazy during the conversion?