Michael Capo, who took over the cheap thrill decorator’s auction niche when Tepper Galleries did an Amelia Earhart and vanished, said Mid-Century and Modernism is so hot that “It’s easier to sell a 1960’s plexi glass cabinet than an Old Master painting.” Don’t tell that to Iris Apfel, the 91 year old fashion icon and decorator. Or me. I’ll take Diane Vreeland-inspired red lacquer walls any day over glass and steel. But some of the city’s best gilded age residences are languishing on the market (think the Apthorp and Joan River’s place).
Via The New York Times: “…An elaborate and voluminous parlor-level condominium in an unusually wide limestone mansion at 15 East 70th Street, a neighbor of the Frick Collection and steps from Central Park, has been listed for sale for the first time in 25 years.
…The asking price of $10.95 million covers a plethora of one-of-a-kind built-ins and access to an intimate address in a doorman-attended five-story building with just seven apartments, no two of which are configured quite the same. The common charge is $8,530 a month. The historic block was an early site of the New York Public Library and retains its library hush along with ample modern hauteur.
The 45-foot-wide expanse of the condo building was achieved by combining 15 East 70th Street, designed in 1910 by Charles I. Berg, an architect popular with the turn-of-the-20th-century upper crust, and 11 East 70th Street, a mansion built in 1909-1910 by John H. Duncan for an heiress to the Lorillard tobacco fortune. s and immense windows to the north and south.
The thoroughly private master wing and the living room — with an arched doorway, a hidden wet bar, a carved white marble fireplace, and red lacquered walls — and are on the lower level, just inside the foyer.
The upper-floor rooms of the three bedroom, 4,000 sq. ft apartment, six steps up, are reached via a trompe l’oeil gallery framed by Egyptian-style obelisks. The condo, renovated 20 years ago with Art Deco aplomb (each room has a plaster 15 ft. ceiling with a different pattern), makes a stunning impression even before the threshold has been crossed.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, Documentary Trailer, 2012
The full-floor unit on the third floor, No. 3, sold earlier this year for $10.5 million; it had been owned for decades by Jerry W. Levin, a former chairman of the Sharper Image. Mr. Levin’s condo entered the market at $13.8 million last March but quickly sold to a hedge fund principal when the price was reduced to $10.5 million in May. A smaller apartment, No. 4B, a one-bedroom one-bath unit that underwent a gut renovation in 2007, is currently listed at $2.65 million.”–NYTimes