The late comedian Joan Rivers often joked of her lavish Manhattan penthouse: “It’s what Marie Antoinette would have done, if she had money.”
Now, after Rivers’ untimely death in September while undergoing an endoscopy, her estate is listing the apartment at 1 East 62nd Street for sale at $28 million. The four bedroom, 4½ bathroom condominium spans the top three floors of the building, and the decor is as candid and colorful as Rivers herself. It has had plenty of work done.
“Everybody says a woman’s bedroom should look like a bordello,” Rivers told NBC’s “TODAY” in 2011. “It’s such a comfort, my bedroom. It is my main closet which, again, for a New Yorker, this is huge. For anybody else in America, it’s like who cares.”
Once a Gilded Age limestone mansion, just off Fifth Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the building was converted to just nine exclusive condominiums in the 1930s. Ernest Hemingway once called the building home.
“This is a very private building, so having this boutique aspect is something that is incredibly unusual in New York,” said Leighton Candler of the Corcoran Group, the listing agent for the property.
The apartment covers more than 5,000 square feet, with 20-foot high ceilings and five full fireplaces. The most unique features, as one might expect, are the entertainment spaces. A music room, salon and full ballroom able to accommodate 125 partygoers. And there were parties. Her guest lists have included Nancy Reagan, Martha Stewart, Steve Forbes, Howard Stern, Regis Philbin and Cal Ripken, among many others, according to representatives for the family.
Rivers’ daughter, Melissa, reportedly threw one last gathering in the apartment, just after her mother’s funeral. It was meant to be a tribute to the life of celebration and humor that Rivers led.
While celebrity status can help or hurt a property’s value, depending on the circumstances, agents for Rivers’ apartment say the listing, which boasts two terraces with Central Park views, stands on its own.
“What does matter to people so much is a celebrity, or anyone, who could live anywhere in New York City, chose to live in this extraordinary place for 25 years. And although many times she may have thought of moving from here, at the end of the day she never could because there’s really nothing else that replaces this,” Candler said.
Previous reports show the apartment had been listed at one time for just over $29 million, but Rivers changed her mind on selling it. While new New York City condominiums have seen recent price tags as high as $100 million, this property harkens back to old Manhattan.
“Actually, I would say that it is an incredible value,” Candler said.