The penthouse craze began in the early 20th century thanks to media tycoon William Randolph Hearst. He took up residence in a three-floor apartment at the Clarendon at 137 Riverside Drive and, when his landlord refused to let him expand further, Hearst bought the entire building, adding two new floors to the top of his mansion, crowned by a new copper mansard roof.
Now, 100 years later, the rich and famous are still making headlines with their pricey penthouse purchases. Fellow media mogul Rupert Murdoch recently purchased a $57.25 million triplex penthouse, along with an additional full-floor unit (because why stop at just three?) at One Madison. His bachelor pad totals more than 10,000 square feet of interior space, wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass. Is this the new standard for penthouse living? We’re taking a look at some of the top sky-high listings in Manhattan to find out.