SELLER: Susan Gutfreund
LOCATION: New York, NY
SIZE: (approx.) 12,000 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 5 full and 3 half bathrooms plus 3-bed/2-bath staff quarters
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Socialite Susan Gufreund, flight attendant turned famously lavish living widow of late Wall Street titan John Gutfreund, chopped the price of her gigantic and ravenously opulent duplex apartment at the lordly, limestone-clad 834 Fifth Avenue building in New York City to $96 million, a still undeniably elephantine ask that is none-the-less a heart stopping $24 million discount from its much chattered about and in-hindsight wildly optimistic original asking price of $120 million. The mansion-sized apartment measures in at around 12,000-square-feet, according to online marketing materials, with four bedrooms and 5 full and 3 half bathrooms plus extensive staff quarters.
Public entertaining rooms include an intimate foyer and grandly proportioned reception gallery and stair hall, a 50-plus-foot-long park-facing living room with two fireplaces and a library nook with hidden room tucked behind floor-to-ceiling bookcases, a gilt-trimmed library/winter garden on the lower floor that links through to a baronial formal dining room where the curtains were crafted from fabric gifted to Miz Gutfreund by French fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld. A spacious but intimately cognac-hued second floor library’s walls are decadently and expensively sheathed in 17th century leather. Three en suite guest bedrooms are clustered together on the lower floor — one of them rather on the puny side as can be seen in the floor plans included with digital listings — while the master suite, all 1,600-square-feet of it, privately occupies it own wing on the upper floor and incorporates a spacious bedroom, an adjacent sitting room with fireplace, a fitted dressing room with adjoining bathroom, and a long, closet-lined dressing hall that leads to a marble and mirror accented octagonal bathroom with original and presumably perfectly preserved 1930s fittings. The service wing on the lower level includes a huge center island kitchen plus an only slightly smaller butler’s pantry with felt-lined walk-in silver storage closet and a small home office across the hall from a walk-in linen storage room. Extensive staff quarters behind the kitchen include a laundry room, staff lounge with built-in dining banquette, three bedrooms — two of them prison cell sized — and two bathrooms. A tiny staff bedroom on the second floor along with a walk-in wine cellar and two storage cages are included in the price.
834 Fifth Avenue is without question one of the most prestigious co-operative apartment houses in New York City where buyers must pass muster with a notoriously stringent board and be able to comfortably afford to pay all cash for their apartment. In addition to a couple of international billionaires and a sick-rich hedge fund fat cat or two, current residents include mall-building magnate Alfred Taubman, the former owner of Sotheby’s who once did an embarrassing stint in prison on price fixing conviction, Greek shipping tycoon George Livanos, philanthropist Laurie Tisch, and Rupert Murdoch’s third ex-wife Wendi Deng who retained ownership of the former couple’s titanic triplex penthouse that they bought in 2004 for $44 million from the estate of Laurence S. Rockefeller.
Mister and Missus Gutfruend, renown in the 1980s for their jaw dropping let-them-eat-cake lifestyle, additionally maintained a sumptuous apartment in Paris’s tony 7th arrondisement that came up for sale in 2010 at an undisclosed price. The four-floor-apartment, where the Gutfreund’s allegedly spent $1 million to install a private car washing station in the garage, was sold several years ago, we’ve been told by the sorts of people who would know, to veteran fashion executive and designer Reed Krakoff — he was the creative director at Coach before he launched an eponymous but quickly shuttered luxury brand — and his savvy and accomplished Parisian born interior designer wife Delphine Krakoff.