Monday, July 13, 2009

Is the Apthorp New York City's Next Celebrity Enclave?

Recent reports reveal that a slew of celebs have been touring the sprawling pre-war pads at the much bally-hooed and beloved Apthorp building in New York City. The Apthorp, for those who do not know, is a leviathan limestone pile built in 1908 by the Astor family that covers an entire city block on the Upper West Side. There are four elaborately detailed and symmetrical facades topped by a small crown of copper. The building is entered through one of two gated three story barrel vaulted tunnels, one on buzzy Broadway the other on West End Avenue, that lead to a landscaped and limestone clad central courtyard with two shushing fountains where residents can be discreetly deposited from the rear seats of taxis, town cars and private automobiles.

According to a number of reports in New York centric papers and websites, the list of famous folks who have made the pilgrimage to the Apthorp include Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Emmy award winning actor Alec Baldwin, aging action movie actor Bruce Willis, and Real Housewife of New York City Jill Zarin who recently listed her Upper East Side nest with an asking price of $3,200,000 and will soon be rooting around for a new nest. Sara Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick–who did not, as it turns out, purchase the the near perfect Park Slope townhouse recently sold by Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly–have also been rumored and reported to have scooted around the building in search of new digs to house their growing family.

Of course, the Athorp has long attracted wealthy and rich folks with former tenants like Rosie O'Donnell, Conan O'Brien, Steve Kroft, Robert DeNiro and, of course, writer Nora Ephron and colorful 1980s pop icon Cyndi Lauper who, much to the chagrin of many, both occupied very large rent controlled apartments. Miz Ephron was forced out of her 5th floor 5 bedroom residence after it became subjected to New York State's luxury de-control laws and the rent was jacked to a toe curling $12,000. Cyndi Lauper had much better luck when in 2005 she successfully sued the landlord to reduce the rent on her rent-controlled 4-bedroom crib from nearly four thousand dollars per month to just under one thousand. Every New Yorker publicly hated her for that, but every New Yorker also knows they'd happily sell their mother, their dog and their first born for a 7-room apartment that costs less than a thousand clams a month.

Anyhoo, amid much controversy, law suits and bad blood, the legendary Apthorp went condo and chile they is some colossally costly condominiums. Even after a $426,000 price chop, a 1,031 square foot 7th floor one bedroom is listed at a toe-curling $1,575,000 and after six months on the market and a $1,150,000 price slash, a 3,331 square foot unit on the 11th floor with 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms is listed at $6,350,000. Apparently that's pocket change to the Jolie-Pitts who are rumored to be willing to dump upwards of $25,000,000 to combine three units into one massive spread for their ever-expanding brood of multi-culti children.

Given that 25 units need to be sold by September to solidify the condo conversion Your Mama would imagine the Apthorps' public relations peeps are wildly spinning their rolodexes and the developers offering all kinds of difficult to pass up deals to famous folks who might attract other buyers who like the idea of living in close proximity to fame. Of course, the famous people could care less about the other tenants, but they will certainly appreciate and make good use of the central courtyard where they can come and go without the paps trying to take a snap shot of their naughty bits as they step out of their car.

Time will tell puppies but if Your Mama had to wager a guess, we'd say the Apthorp should do well with deep pocketed and privacy seeking people in the public eye.

photos: The City Review

27 comments:

Billy said...

Strange coincidence (or is it), Alec Baldwin’s first movie, per his CV on IMDP, “Forever Lulu” revolves around a drug buy gone bad at the Apthorp. It was on this weekend.

StPaulSnowman said...

A gorgeous building........talk about bones! I wonder if any of the period interior features have escaped the plague of drywall and track lighting? More please Mama.

thevinylvillage said...

Mama, I was looking at this building earlier today when one of the gossip sites reported that Ole Bradjahoolie was looking here. Its really a gorgeous building! Id love a little pied a terre there.

David Wolff said...

Dear Mama, can you show us the interior design from Ms. Cyndi Lauper apartment ? I'd love to see what the 80's colorful pop icon did with her rooms and walls !! I have a feeling she hired the "Jason's technocolor coat" scenario crew 'cause her house have to show all her "True Colors" !!
(sorry-y, can't help myself)

Anonymous said...

Always thought this place was kind of creepy. The roof is fantastic though.It has great arches along one side. We use to go party up there as teenagers in the 80's. I hope they spent a lot of money fixing it up at those prices.

Edna May Onacott said...

25 apartments need to be sold in the next six weeks? Do we think this is possible, even if they throw in the kitchen sink (so to speak)? And by sold, Mama, you can't, of course, mean closed... not within eight weeks....

Anonymous said...

I first learned about this place in Nora Ephron's book, "I Hate My Neck and..." It's a longer title, but I can't remember it all. Anyway, her essay/chapter on how much she loved her apt in the Apthorp was so beautiful. I totally understand loving a place so much. After I read it, I looked up floorplans on the internet. What a great place. The idea of a courtyard is fabulous, too. I'm sure the uppercrust folks who live there now would never stoop to use it, but I would!!

Anonymous said...

It's a long link, but here is the floorplans for the 3rd floor:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=242900&imageID=417147&total=304&num=0&parent_id=241921&word=&s=&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&lword=&lfield=&imgs=20&pos=10&snum=&e=r

You can see where if a person bought 3 apts (a la Jolie/Pitt), it would amount to one quarter of a floor...or 1/2 of a side (building is split into two to accomodate the motorcourt/courtyard)

angeleyes said...

Great sleuthing 6:26. You gave me an idea to search the site further and I found these:

Building:

Apthorp 1910

Floors:

1st

3rd

4th thru 11th

StPaulSnowman said...

Angeleyes.........strong work! It is this kind of thing that makes this such a primo site.

angeleyes said...

Thanks Snowman. I just expanded on what 6:26 found.

StPaulSnowman said...

Kudos to 6:26 as well but at my age, those embedded links are priceless so I thank you both!

Anonymous said...

Nice building.
Damn, everyone is moving to New York.
Hmm.

Viva! said...

*Crosses fingers that Jill Zarin, plus Bobby, Ally and Ginger, move into the Apthorp so that Jill can rub her new fabulous condo in everyone else's faces*

Anonymous said...

6:23 - once the Jolie-Pitts are in residence & start using the courtyard, I'm sure EVERYONE will follow suit (upper crust or not!).

Having never been a 'cliff dweller', I can't relate to apartment living directly, but the courtyard sure looks great from the internet vantage point.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that site is a score! Thank you!

The Apthorp's website has a few floor plans of some renovated apartments on it as well. For the most part, pretty good modifications for modern living, other than the "small" bathrooms which many people will complain about at these prices. Super cool building though.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone with millions to spend buy in NYNY - living in an apartment is depressing no matter how big. FUC this apartment shit.

Anonymous said...

Hey this is 6:26 again. How do you do those embedding links? Much appreciate the subsequent links. I'm a California girl and the Apthorp represents the fantasy of NYC living to me.

Anonymous said...

That's the first NYC building that really struck the cord with me... WOW! Actually, looks a little like Moscow around Tverskaya.

angeleyes said...

6:26/7:50, download THIS picture with the simple template I made for myself to use at the top,

then type the template as shown onto a Notepad exactly as you see it there, and save it to use as your own template.

- Replace 1st series of 5 x's with the URL of the page you want your hyperlink word to open.

- Replace the 2nd series of 5 x's with the word you want to show in blue as your hyperlink word.

(everything else you see there must stay, such as the " " on either side of your URL, and > < on either side of your hyperlink word)

For more instruction in case you have trouble at first: LINK

Anonymous said...

curiosity piqued, I went to the realtor website.... AND I couldn't afford the taxes and monthly maintenance let alone the sales prices..... should i laugh or cry.....

Anonymous said...

Thanks, angeleyes. My blog commenting savvy has been enhanced.

Anonymous said...

Love the Apthorp. Classic.

One of my favorite units belongs to Jennifer Post, and you - my friends - can see it here...

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/architects/100/jennifer_post/post_article_112007

glenwoodnyc said...

I might not want to live in that building (too old), but I do like the outside of it.

For those prices I'd rather live in newer luxury new york city real estate and just appreciate the Aprtorp from the outside.

Anonymous said...

7:11 AM, because NY is the most attractive city in the U.S. for rich people?

You have no taste anyway. You sound like a country bumpkin.

Anonymous said...

Among the best apartments in the city; a New York City dream....

Anonymous said...

Wow...what a beautiful building!