Lauren Bacall’s Dakota Spread Sells to Hedge Fund Financier

SELLER: Estate of Lauren Bacall
BUYERS: Ronald and Cynthia Beck
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $23,500,000 (last listed)

YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: The long-time New York City apartment of late, great, gravel voiced, and (in)famously grouchy actress Lauren Bacall has been sold and the new owners identified in the Big Apple gossip columns as hedge fund fat cat Ronald Beck and his wife, Cynthia. The sale price has yet to be revealed but the elegantly proportioned mid-floor co-operative apartment at the quirky and near mythic Dakota, which lords dramatically over the corner of Central Park West and West 72nd Street, was last listed at $23.5 million after a significant reduction from its original $26 million asking price. The drop-dead gorgeous Miz Bacall, born as the more humdrum sounding Betty Joan Perske, acquired the sprawling, approximately 4,000-square-foot spread in 1961 for about $48,000 — or, as some reports have suggested, possibly as little as $28,000 — and shared the house-sized apartment with second husband Jason Robards until they divorced in the late 1960s as well as her three children, two of them sired by first husband Humphrey Bogart.

The nine-room, park-facing apartment, which carries mouth drying monthly maintenance fees of $13,595 per the most recent digital listings, provides three park-facing bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, five fireplaces with carved wood mantelpieces, 13-foot ceilings with plaster moldings, original inlaid hardwood floors, and mahogany paneled window casings with integrated shutters for light and air modulation. Public rooms include a spacious mahogany paneled entrance vestibule with original fireplace, a baronial 29-foot living room, a more intimately scaled library with park-facing Juliet balcony accessible from a massive sash window, and a formal dining room with 11-foot high pocket doors and a corner china and linen storage closet. A 65-plus-foot long, zig-zagged corridor links the entertaining spaces to the bedrooms and the extensive service wing, per the floor plan included with online marketing materials, provides numerous storage closets, a butler’s pantry, an unexpectedly spacious and windowed laundry room, a powder room plus a full bathroom, an office or staff bedroom, and a kitchen that’s plenty large enough to accommodate a dining table and overlooks the building’s storied courtyard where the building’s tony residents gather each fall for a residents only meet and greet.

As it turns out the Becks don’t have far to schlep their no-doubt fancy-pants things. In the early days of 2008 the couple coughed up $19 million for a generously terraced, Central Park view duplex penthouse with three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, plus a couple of staff bedrooms, at the also illustrious and brutally expensive tri-towered Beresford complex that’s just half a mile up Central Park West from the Dakota. The Becks briefly listed the park- and city-view aerie in the spring of 2012 with an asking price of $22 million — it did not sell — and our research suggests the couple also maintains a considerable, 19.1-acre spread with an 8,872-square foot main residence, private pond, swimming pool, and tennis court in the sleepy but high-cost Water Mill area of the Hamptons on Long Island that was acquired via corporate entity in 1998 for $2.8 million.

Listing photos and floor plan: Warburg Realty

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