SELLER: Oprah Winfrey
LOCATION: New York City, NY
SIZE: 2,530 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In January 2008 the juicy dish making its way down the New York City celebrity real estate gossip grapevine was that Oprah Winfrey’s b.f.f. Gayle King—currently the co-anchor of CBS This Morning—coughed up a very considerable 7.1 million clams to acquire a glassy penthouse pad atop a sleek, newly built Midtown Manhattan tower called Place 57.
When all the deeds and documents were finally filed and recorded a few months later it was revealed by the New York Observer that the penthouse was more likely bought by Miz Winfrey and not Miz King. The evidence cited included that the names two of Miz Winfrey’s known associates—accountant Lisa Gardina and Aspen-based attorney Gideon Kaufman—are listed in the purchase documents. However, in truth, Mister Kaufman’s name also appears on the deeds and docs for Miz King’s 10,000-plus square foot mansion in bucolic and baronial Greenwich, CT. More telling perhaps, as noted in the New York Observer and elsewhere, the Place 57 penthouse was purchased through a trust that seems to have been named after Miz Winfrey’s beloved (but now deceased) cocker spaniel Sophie.
It was all very confusing, as these things sometimes are, but in spring 2011 Miz King invited the
cameras of decorator turned talk show hostess Nate Berkus for a somewhat limited tour of her New York City residence and the apartment shown is most certainly not the nearly all-glass penthouse pad on East 57th Street.
Anyhoodles poodles, late last night while grappling with a little insomnia Your Mama stumbled across the Oprah-owned penthouse at Place 57, now back on the market with an asking price of $7,900,000.
Current listing information shows the 36th floor spread has 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, 2,530 square feet of glass-wrapped interior space, and an additional 750-ish square foot wrap-around terrace with pulse racing and knee-bucking city views. Listing information shows the monthly common charges and taxes come up to a hefty but hardly unheard of $4,958 per month, more money than most people earn in a month but a relative pittance for a woman of Miz Winfrey’s extraordinary riches.
The apartment, blessed with lofty 12-foot high ceiling, opens into an unforgivably slender, chute-like entrance hall that explodes in to a scalene triangle shaped dining and living space where two long walls of floor-to-ceiling glass converge in a (melo)dramatic (and perhaps a wee bit ham-handed) manner to provide a gigantic, birds-eye view that stretches from the George Washington Bridge, over Central Park, west towards New Jersey and south to the glittering towers of Midtown.
A swinging door in the dining area swings open to a light, bright, modern and expensively equipped but somewhat petite kitchen finished with flat-fronted cabinetry (that may or may not be white oak), charcoal-colored counter tops of unknown material, and chunky center island that does not, we note with chagrin and surprise, have a built-in breakfast bar component.
Two guest/family bedrooms, one with private bathroom the other with access to a hall bath as per the floor plan included with current listing information, occupy the northeast wing of the aerie. A short corridor behind the kitchen and off the entrance hall has a stacked washer/dryer closet and connects to the relatively petite master suite occupies that the southeast wing and includes three walk-in closets (two with windows), a spa-style pooper with jetted tub, separate shower and cubby for the terlit and bee-day.
The unfurnished penthouse gleams with newness and looks to Your Mama’s admittedly tired and boozy eyes like it’s never been lived in. Of course, we don’t know a pea hen from a microwave oven so we really haven’t an iota if Miz Winfrey—or Miz King or anyone else for that matter—ever spent a single night up in the Place 57 penthouse. For all we know the all but undecorated penthouse was used for little more than cocktail parties. Listing information does reveal, however, the walnut floors are “brand new” and the “state-of-the-art” kitchen is “barely used,” language that indicates Miz Winfrey (or somebody) did at least a little cooking up in that kitchen.
Two guest/family bedrooms, one with private bathroom the other with access to a hall bath as per the floor plan included with current listing information, occupy the northeast wing of the aerie and the relatively petite master suite occupies the southeast wing and includes three walk-in closets (two with windows), a spa-style pooper with jetted tub, separate shower and cubby for the terlit and bee-day.
The Place 57 tower, located between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in the no-man’s land between Fifth Avenue and Sutton Place, has a Vincente Wolf-designed Baccarat Crystal Lobby, whatever that is, and offers residents white glove services that include 24-7 doorman and concierge services, a fully equipped fitness center, thematically designed children’s playrooms, residents-only conference rooms, and a Baccarat Crystal Garden, whatever the decorative devil that is.
As mentioned earlier, Miz King owns a 10,000-plus square foot mansion in Greenwich, CT she unsuccessfully attempted to sell back in June 2008 when it was listed with a $7,450,000 price tag. Although we can’t be certain, it does not appear that Miz King’s krib in Connecticut is currently on the (open) market.
Miz Winfrey, as billionaires typically do, owns a number of other high priced and high maintenance properties that include (but are not necessarily limited to) a four-unit duplex at the Water Tower Place complex in downtown Chicago, a plantation-style mansion on the island of Maui in Hawaii, and a massive 23,000 square foot mansion on 42-manicured acres in supah-swank Montecito, CA she picked up in 2001 for a mind altering $50,000,000.
Miz Winfrey also owns a number of small (and not so small) homes and condos in places like Douglasville, GA, Franklin, TN, Merrillville, IN and Elmwood Park, IL all of which we presume were acquired for use by various family members and/or close personal friends.
In 2007 Miz Winfrey dropped $5,600,000 on a 4,607 square foot condominium with 2 bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half bathrooms, and 2 car parking in a particularly posh Beaux Arts-style building in Chicago’s swanky Streeterville neighborhood. The former chat show superstar, media mogul and generous global do-gooder reportedly never moved into the apartment that she put up for sale for about 6 months in 2008 for $6,000,000 and put up for lease late last year (2011) at $15,000 per month. The 6th floor Lake Shore Drive apartment remains listed for lease at $15,000 per month.
listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran