Brown Harris Stevens
A living room in the combined apartments. The buyer will be one floor below the mysterious apartment of heiress Huguette Clark.
NEW YORK — Curiosity seekers hoping for a glimpse of the New York apartment of the reclusive heiress Huguette Clark will have to make do for now with an extraordinary apartment for sale just one floor below hers in the same elegant co-op. The 18-room, 6,500-square-feet apartment, on the market for $25 million, will be created by combining the seventh-floor apartments of three owners at 907 Fifth Avenue, the historic building at 72nd Street overlooking Central Park's model boat pond.
Even at that size, the apartment would be dwarfed by the property of Clark, the late copper heiress, who has been the subject of a series of reports on msnbc.com about her vacant properties and the management of her fortune. When she died last May, she owned three apartments at 907 Fifth Avenue, with a total of 42 rooms. Two of her apartments make up the entire eighth floor, or about 10,000 square feet, with another 5,000 in an apartment that occupies half of the top floor, the 12th. It's estimated that in today's market her three apartments would sell for roughly $70 million. Though a court fight has begun over her $400 million estate, the executor could choose to sell the Clark apartments soon, perhaps this year.
Clark and her mother moved into the building in 1927 or 1928 after the death of Huguette's father, the former Sen. William Andrews Clark, in 1925. The mother and daughter moved down Fifth Avenue from the family's enormous home, at 962 Fifth Avenue, which was being demolished. Just a five-minute walk away, the Italian palazzo-style apartment building at 907 Fifth Avenue was designed by renowned architect J.E.R. Carpenter. It had the most expensive apartments in the city when it opened in 1915.
As The New York Times tells it, "Mr. Carpenter, who was described as 'the father of the modern large apartment' in New York City, was one of the building’s first residents. In the 1920s, he lived alongside oil barons, a tinplate king, a president of the New York Stock Exchange, and a Russian prince."
Martha Stewart, the design entrepreneur, also has an apartment in the building.
Brown Harris Stevens
The library in the combined apartments.
Brown Harris Stevens
A living room in the combined apartments offers a view of Central Park. One can see all the way from Central Park South to, at the north, glimpses of the George Washington Bridge.
Many of the apartments at 907 were eventually subdivided into smaller units. The combination will put three of those back together roughly as originally designed, replacing the servants area with more modern bedrooms. Two kitchens would need to be removed, and air conditioning installed. The new owner would face a co-op fee, including upkeep and taxes, of $12,618 a month, or $151,416 a year. (The Clark apartments cost her $28,500 a month, or $342,000 a year, while she lived for two decades in New York hospital rooms.)
A proposed floor plan for the three apartments.
Those prices bring apartments with light and high ceilings virtually unknown in the city. Guests enter the limestone building through a canopy-protected doorway on 72nd Street into a lobby with a coffered ceiling and a striking stone staircase. Amenities include full-time doormen, a full gymnasium and a landscaped rooftop garden.
Previous stories in the Huguette Clark mystery series on msnbc.com:
Photo narrative, "The Clarks: An American story of wealth, scandal and mystery," Feb. 26, 2010.
Printable version of the photo narrative, Feb. 26, 2010.
Clark family notes and sources, Feb. 26, 2010.
Investigative report, part one, "At 104, the mysterious heiress Huguette Clark is alone now: Relatives are kept away. Only her accountant and attorney visit. Who protects HuguetteClark, with 3 empty homes and no heirs?" Aug. 19, 2010.
Investigative report, part two, "Who is watching Huguette Clark's millions? Reclusive heiress's assets are sold by two advisers, one an accountant with a felony conviction. Another elderly client signed over his property to the same accountant and attorney," Aug. 20, 2010.
"Criminal probe begins into the finances of reclusive heiress Huguette Clark: Manhattan DA's Elder Abuse Unit is on the case. The same unit prosecuted the Brooke Astor case; Clark has about four times the wealth," Aug. 24, 2010.
"Report sparks welfare check on heiress Huguette Clark," Aug. 25, 2010.
"Huguette Clark, the reclusive heiress, has signed a will, attorney says," Sept. 2, 2010.
"Attorney for 104-year-old heiress defends his handling of her finances," Sept. 7, 2010.
"Huguette Clark, the reclusive copper heiress, dies at 104," May 24, 2011.
"Family excluded from Huguette Clark burial," May 26, 2011.
"Heiress Huguette Clark's will leaves $1 million to advisers," June 22, 2011.
"The 1 percent of the 1 percent: How Huguette Clark's millions were spent," Nov. 19, 2011.
Book coming on reclusive heiress Huguette Clark and her family," Feb. 3, 2012.