YOUR MAMAS NOTES: If the children will get into their mental time machines and go back to the spring of 2007, y’all may recall when scissor sister Sally Hershberger, the hair stylist to the rich and famous who will charge you an astonishing $800 just to cut your damn hair, unsuccessfully attempted to unload her Beverly Hills, CA home. Miss Hershberger, a gal Your Mama thinks of as the She-ra of the Shag, listed her 3 bedroom and 5 pooper contemporary crib in the Trousdale Estates neighborhood with an asking price of $6,500,000. Five months later, the Hershberger house was taken off the market without a price reduction and without a buyer.
Skipping forward to late June of 2010 and we learn from our prolific informant Hot Chocolate that Miss Hershberger has now listed her itty-bitty New York City penthouse apartment with a porcine asking price of $5,900,000. It certainly isn’t unusual for a terraced penthouse pad in the West Village to carry a price tag of nearly six million clams. What isn’t so common is that the penthouse Miss Hershberger hopes will pour five or six million smackers into her bank accounts measures less than 1,000 square feet and includes just 1 bedroom and 1 pooper.
Miss Hershberger, who comes from a substantial Kansas oil fortune, owns three eponymous salons including her home base on Los Angeles’ La Cienega Boulevard, which happens to be located in the same contemporary building as maximalist decorator and shelter rag darling Kelly Wearstler’s office. In New York, Miss Hershberger camps out in a second floor salon in the sadly over-developed Meatpacking District–may Florent rest in peace–that’s wedged between the Alexander McQueen–may he also rest in peace–and Stella McCartney boo-teeks. She recently opened a second Manhattan outpost on the top two floors of a spectacular townhouse on E. 71st Street that presumably caters to the uppity Junior League and Ladees Who Lunch sets.
Property records show Miss Hershberger bought her downtown digs in August of 2001, paying $1,850,000 for the 905 square foot aerie located in a much desired pre-war Bing and Bing building. Technically, Miss Hershberger’s penthouse is in the West Village but it’s so damn close to the Meatpacking District that it may as well be in the Meatpacking District.
The children may find it interesting to know that this penthouse is not the only apartment Miss Hershberger has owned in the building. In November of 1998, records show she purchased a 1 bedroom unit on the 9th floor for $425,000 and sold it in June of 2001 for $790,000 to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s former Press Secretary Nina Blackwell and her huzband Mark Solomons who in turn sold it in August of 2007 for $1,850,000 to the family of San Francisco-based billionaire Ray Dolby.
Miss Hershberger is a ladee of taste and style and her wee penthouse reflects that bent. The small apartment is blessed with a generous but not large entrance hall. Opposite the front door, in front of a frosted panel of floor to ceiling glass, sits a pedestal topped with a gigantic spiky white crystal, a form echoed with the Verner Panton wall mirror constructed of a myriad of different sized pyramids. Miss Hershberger’s nice, gay decorator also introduces a dead animal skin motif in the entry that, like the crystal, plays itself out repeatedly throughout the petite penthouse.
The corner living room has large casement windows that suck up the panoramic views and a set of casement French doors that open the room to the expansive wrap around terrace. There are dee-voon walnut floors, a vintage Vernor Panton capiz shell chandelier, a very expensive Arne Jacobson Egg Chair that we’d bet our pinky toes is the real deal, a vintage leather Paul Frankl armchair that easily cost as much as a decent used car, a black and white spotted cow skin rug, and a pair of fluffy sheepskin pillows that could probably double as a pet in a pinch. Hanging on the wall behind a petite mid-century modern table and chairs is a large abstract canvas by Joseph La Piana with a series of red, yellow and orange geometric forms placed on a white background that Your Mama thinks successfully reflects the spiky nature of the crystal in the entrance and, more importantly, would look a-may-zing in Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter’s dining room.
The small but functional kitchen is open to the living room and is fitted with sleek, matte white and flat fronted cabinets, a baby 4-burner Viking range, 24″ wide stainless steel Sub-Zero fridge and freezer, a large work island wrapped in steel and lit by a linear crystal chandelier–there’s them crystals again–and a microwave that is, thank the lawd, mounted under the cabinets and off the counter top. There does not appear to be a dishwasher, which does not mean there isn’t one, but sitting atop the work island is, we regret, a dreaded orchid plant. There really isn’t anything wrong with an orchid plant per se, but they’ve become so cliche in real estate listing photos that it makes Your Mama cringe and cower with decorative annoyance every time we see one.
Miss Hershberger’s corner bedroom has three casement windows that open out onto the terrace, a gitzy Ettore Sottsass tubular chandelier with a ring of turquoise accents at the top and bottom, another dead cow rug, a stool covered in zebra skin, a platform bed with linens the color of the the Dalai Lama’s robes, and behind the bed a series of photographs of what appear to be spiritual leaders. The children will note the extensive collection of crystals on the bureau. Miss Hershberger appears to have a more than a touch of the New Age in her.
The wrap around terraces have both brick and narrow plank decking and rows of rectangular planters bulging with sea grass line and soften the perimeter. One section, where Miss Hershberger placed a couple of teak chaise lounges for sucking up the sun, has unobstructed views north towards the London Terrace apartment complex–where Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter once lived in a dee-vine doo–plex apartment–and the Empire State building. Another section, near the kitchen has a round table with four wire Saarinen Bertoia chairs with the seat pads. The chairs and pads cost well upwards of $600 apiece which means, according few flicks of the well worn beads of our bejeweled abacus, that Miss Hershberger’s outdoor dining set cost her at least three grand.
Eagle eyed children will note that the actual apartment layout is somewhat altered from the floor plan included with listing and marketing materials. In the Hershberger penthouse, the kitchen has been opened up into the living/dining room and a kind of hallway from the foyer to the pooper has been created by eliminating the walk in closet that once opened into the bedroom. While it’s never desirable to cut down on closet space in small Manhattan apartments, it’s far more unacceptable to have guests wander through the bedroom in order to get to the pooper. It’s unclear if the bedroom can be properly divided from the hallway but we’d be 12 kinds of flummoxed and flabbergasted if Miss Hershberger’s smart architect did not include the option of closing off the bedroom from the hallway, otherwise it’s a six million dollar studio apartment.
It does seem a rather optimistic to ask nearly six million bucks for a small 1 bedroom penthouse apartment but consider that in June of 2008 a smaller, 690 square foot doo–plex penthouse apartment with 1 bedroom, 2 poopers and 600 square feet of terraces sold for a blood curdling $5,250,000, an amount that according to StreetEasy comes in at a heart stopping $7,608 per square foot. With that as a barometer, at its current asking price of $5,900,000, Miss Hershberger’s penthouse may be a bit of bargain for a deep pocketed buyer at just $6,519 per square foot.
In addition to her mid-century modern in Beverly Hills that she bought in January of 2004 for $2,400,000 and her pricey penthouse in New York, Miss Hershberger also own a weekend retreat in the Hamptons, natch. Property records show that in December of 1999 Miss Hershberger paid $930,000 for the waterfront retreat that’s located in a less expensive area of East Hampton known as The Springs.