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Step Inside Eight of Manhattan's Fanciest Pre-War Apartments

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In Manhattan Classic: New York's Finest Prewar Apartments, New York City architect Geoffrey Lynch presents photo-heavy histories on 84 of Manhattan's ritziest apartment buildings. Addresses on Park Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and Central Park West should be familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of the most enviable of and pricey of NYC real estate offerings. But his lens is a historic one; Lynch is looking to tell the story of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century golden age of New York architecture and the architects that shaped it. But between explorations of Rosario Candela's influences and Clinton & Russell's technique, there are naturally some pretty ornate, lavish, and out-there interiors on display. (The 1020 Fifth Avenue unit pictured above, which hotelier Richard Born paid $18M for back in February, hits the mark for all three.) Below are seven more of the most eye-popping apartments Lynch explores:


↑ This well-appointed blue and orange sitting room is found in 907 Fifth Avenue, a "limestone-clad Italian Renaissance palazzo" designed by J.E.R. Carpenter and completed in 1916.


↑ Perennially upset actor Alec Baldwin owns a veritable village of apartments inside the Devonshire House, but not this one, which was sold in 2012 by Romaine Orthwein, great-granddaughter of the founder of Anheuser-Busch, to Scholastic CEO Richard Robinson for $6.7M. This photo comes from the Orthwein era, when the place was in a period of wonderfully furnished heightened whimsy.


↑ Orthwein's former bedroom, which celebrated flora (the wallpaper, the bedside sprigs) and fauna (the dog portrait, the parrot lamp, the paw-footed bench, the dog) in equal measure.


↑ A dining room in the Emery Roth-designed 417 Park Avenue, with a seriously enviable orange two-seater and a glimpse at an alcove stocked with a pretty far-out sculpture collection.


↑ This faux-columned piece of ornate landscapery is found in 740 Park, which Lynch describes as one of the primary structures that cemented Rosario Candela's "reputation as the greatest of the prewar apartment house architects." Jackie Kennedy Onassis grew up in the building until her parents divorced, and John D. Rockefeller himself lived there from 1937 to 1960.


↑ A gold-fixtured bathroom inside 19 East 72nd Street, a 1937 building designed by Rosario Candela and Mott B. Schmidt.


↑ This lavender-and-gold pad is found inside the the Apthorp, which Lynch describes as "one of the finest and most inspiring examples of Italian Renaissance Revival architecture in New York." The 1908 building was designed by Clinton & Russell (who are said to have drawn its proportions from the Pitti Palace in Florence) and developed by then-richest-man-in-America William Waldorf Astor. Celebs such as Conan O'Brien, Rosie O'Donnell, Cyndi Lauper, and Al Pacino have all called the Astorp Home, and Nora Ephron wrote about her ten years living there ("for a scandalous $1,500 a month") in a 2006 piece for the New Yorker.


↑ A resplendently pink bedroom inside the McKim, Mead & White-designed 998 Fifth Avenue.

·Manhattan Classic [Princeton Architectural Press]
· All On the Books posts [Curbed National]
· All NYC coverage [Curbed National]