The building name might be coincidental, but it’s certainly no fluke that the late Robert Osborne‘s historic apartments at the Osborne co-op are perfectly preserved and decorated impeccably. Best known for his 20+ year run as the host of Turner Classic Movies and as the author of the official history of the Academy Awards, Robert moved into the Midtown West building in 1988 after Carol Burnett mentioned a friend was selling a residence there. He told the Times in 2006, “I was interested that there was a building called the Osborne spelled the same way I spell my name,” and so he toured that unit with Bette Davis. This became the first of three homes he’d purchase in the co-op, and as of today, all three of these are on the market–a one-bedroom unit on the third-floor asking $1.25 million, a second-floor one-bedroom asking $725,000, and a much smaller one-bedroom on the first floor asking $575,000.
In his interview with the Times, he revealed that he first learned of the Osborne co-op while reading Rosalind’s Russell’s autobiography, “Life is a Banquet.” He then visited resident Leonard Bernstein there to audition for his 1953 musical “Wonderful Town” and decided that he’d like to own “something that looked like a gentlemen’s club… that felt old and stable.”
He certainly hit the jackpot with his third-floor unit, his main residence, which is decked out in original hand-carved Mahogany moldings and doors, Parquet des Versailles floors, John La Farge stained glass windows, and 14-foot ceilings.
A large foyer is flanked in floor-to-ceiling storage; the bedroom has plenty more historic detailing, along with built-in bookshelves and a rotary ladder; and the bathroom and kitchen were recently updated.
The second-floor one-bedroom is a bit moodier, or as the listing describes it: “Hollywood glam,” with all the moldings and trim painted a glossy black. It boasts original brass hardware finishes and decorative wrought iron balusters.
The smaller, first-floor unit seems to be the one Osborne used as a guest suite. Interestingly, it was the same unit Leonard Bernstein used as his office (his main residence was a unit on the fourth floor). Robert Osborne passed away in March of last year at the age of 84 in his home at the Osborne.
Other famous residents of the storied co-op include Jessica Chastain, Tony-winning composer Adam Guettel, cabaret star Bobby Short (all three of whom have owned Bernstein’s home over the years), Knicks coach Phil Jackson, Lynn Redgrave, actress Vera Miles, and countless others.
Neighborhoods : Midtown West