For $43M, restore two Gilded Age Upper East Side co-ops to their historic grandeur

Posted On Tue, December 11, 2018 By

Posted On Tue, December 11, 2018 By In Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Upper East Side

A three-bedroom co-op in the Rosario Candela-designed 720 Park Avenue, the epitome of 1920s Gilded Age grandeur, is on the market for $20 million. It was once part of an even grander duplex that belonged to onetime Macy’s president and ambassador to France Jesse I. Straus. The lower unit is asking $23 million. The two owners are offering a $43M combo that could restore the home to its original impressive status with eight bedrooms and staff quarters that, according to the Wall Street Journal, include a flower room, a vegetable closet and a valet room where cuffs and collars were pressed.

Straus was a son of Ida and Isidor Straus, who was co-owner of R.H. Macy & Co.; The couple died in the sinking of the Titanic. The massive duplex was divided into two in the 1970s, when the city’s prospects had reached an all-time low, even in the most luxurious of neighborhoods. While recombining the two properties would be an ambitious project that would require co-op board approval, architect Peter Pennoyer has already been retained to create plans for joining the apartments.

720 park avenue, upper east side, historic homes, co-ops, cool listings

The 12th-floor residence even by itself is a home of, as the listing reminds us, “baronial proportions” with plenty of Park Avenue frontage. The sun-filled rooms await a new century of entertaining and gracious living with ceilings that reach nearly 15 feet, well-preserved hardwood floors and unique period details. The home’s private entry vestibule opens onto a grand gallery with a vaulted cathedral ceiling. The living room is highlighted by 18th century English wood paneling and a wood-burning fireplace.

720 park avenue, upper east side, historic homes, co-ops, cool listings

A massive dining room features three window bays; in the library, you’ll find a four-panel stained glass window set into a Gothic style stone window architrave.

720 park avenue, upper east side, historic homes, co-ops, cool listings

720 park avenue, upper east side, historic homes, co-ops, cool listings

A powder room with an ante-chamber and two coat closets are accessible from the entry hall.

720 park avenue, upper east side, historic homes, co-ops, cool listings

720 park avenue, upper east side, historic homes, co-ops, cool listings

720 park avenue, upper east side, historic homes, co-ops, cool listings

The home’s private quarters includes a master bedroom with city skyline and iconic Park Avenue views. Also here are a dressing room, a sunny study, and a palatial marble bath. A second bedroom offers an en-suite bath and a massive walk-in closet. A smaller third bedroom also features an en-suite bath.

720 park avenue, upper east side, historic homes, co-ops, cool listings

Adjoining the home’s large kitchen (not pictured in the listing) is a butlers’ pantry overlooking the trees of the Lehman Garden. The home’s generous staff quarters include a large bedroom with a bath and two additional bedrooms and another bathroom up a half-flight of stairs. A wine vault and storage area are also included in the sale.

[Listing: 720 Park Avenue #12A by Serena Boardman, Kerry Schmidt and Jonathan L. Banks for Sothebys]

[At CityRealty]

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Images courtesy of Sothebys.

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Neighborhoods : Upper East Side

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