SELLER: Peter Norton
LOCATION: Central Park West, New York, NY
SIZE: 4,415 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: This high floor, Central Park West residence proudly features one of the finest residential layouts designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson. A grandly proportioned gallery seamlessly separates living, service and sleeping areas, while its generous scale provides ideal entertaining space and a wonderful backdrop for the most discerning art collectors. This inspiring flow leads to 3 bedrooms library/4th bedroom, formal dining room, grand living room, wet bar, modern eat in kitchen, 6.5 marble baths and ample service and storage areas…
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The other day we were reading real estate gossip Max Abelson’s most recent Manhattan Transfers column in the New York Observer in which he discussed two high floor apartments at the Trump International Hotel and Towers in New York City that for the bank account busting price of $34,700,000 could be combined to create a capacious 8,830 square foot doo–plex apartment that would include 6 or maybe 8 bedrooms (depending on how one counts) and at least 14 terlits for the house gurl to hate on.
The lower apartment, currently listed at $18,450,000, spreads across 4,415 square feet of the 44th floor and belongs to a man named Richard O. Ullman who made most of his hundreds of millions on administering and managing pharmaceutical benefits, whatever that means. Mister Abelson’s recent article about Mister Ullman’s Trump International residence is not Mister Ullman’s first turn on the so-called celebrity real estate merry go round having been identified in November of 2008 by Mister Abelson as the likely (but unconfirmed) owner of a large terraced doo–plex apartment at the much ballyhooed Robert A.M. Stern designed 15 Central Park West which was was bought in March of 2008 for $23,500,000 and rumored to be flipped back on the market as a “quiet” listing with an eye-popping (and rather optimistic) $75,000,000 asking price.
Anyhoo, it’s not Mister Ullman and his high-priced real estate comings and goings we want to discuss, it’s tech tycoon turned renowned contemporary art collector Peter Norton’s apartment on the forty-fifth floor of the Trump International which currently carries an asking price of $16,250,000 (reduced from $17,900,000). As unscientific proof that birds of feather nest together, the bulk of the 45th floor, according to property records, is owned by Texas-based billionaire Mark Cuban who appears to own a couple of cribs that combined measure a commodious 5,778 square feet.
Property records show Mister Norton purchased his 3-4 bedroom and 6.5 bathroom condominium unit on Central Park West in January of 1998 for an unknown amount of money. Listing information reveals that interior spaces pinwheel around a central gallery that defines the traffic flow and separates the living, sleeping and service spaces all of which doubled as a rotating gallery space for the massive contemporary art collection amassed by Mister Norton and his first wifey Eileen. The Norton collection, believed to be one of the largest and most valuable private collections in the world, includes works by big name and big bucks artists Takashi Murakami, Robert Lazzarini, Yinka Shonabare, John Currin, Gregory Crewdson, Vik Muniz and many, many, meh-nee more.
For reasons that we will absolutely not discuss in order to protect the innocent, Your Mama has actually been inside Mister Norton’s apartment on several occasions where we were non-plussed by the predictable and not particularly inspired architecture and depressingly drab day-core but was left slack-jawed and bug-eyed over the soo–blime and very serious art that was everywhere we turned and rivaled any trip to any contemporary museum or hoity toity art gallery anywhere.
Here are the four things we remember most about Mister Norton’s aerie.
1. While the lobby of the building is glitzy and shiny in the way only Donald Trump can (and would) do, the wide, runway-length hallways that lead to the individual apartments of the Trump International look disturbingly similar and equally as banal as the hallways of a very clean and well kept Best Western Hotel Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter stayed in on one of our cross country jaunts in our big BMW that was stuffed full of gin, tonic, our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly and that howling pussy we call Sugar.
2. To the left of the entrance gallery is a tremendous living room with one full and another partial wall of floor to ceiling windows with thrilling views south over the the building tops and east over Central Park and towards the dignified apartment houses that line Fifth Avenue just above 59th Street. Equally as stunning as the spine-tingling only-in-New York view was a large Kara Walker cut paper silhouette installation that stretched down an entire wall of the living room.
3. To the right of the art filled entrance gallery was Mister Norton’s den/office and a long dining room with a dizzy making wood floor, a pretty (but very ordinary) Fortuny chandelier and floor to ceiling windows looking west over the building tops and towards a particularly leafy part of New Jersey. Beyond the kitchen is the not too big but gigantic for New York City kitchen which is functionally equipped with milky smooth marble counter tops, ordinary white cabinetry and a eating area where an Ingo Maurer Porca Misera! chandelier hangs over a small round table set in front of huge window through which ships can be seen gliding peacefully down the mighty Hudson River.
4. Although we did not know it from our visits, it turns out there are 6.5 bathrooms in Mister Norton’s apartment including two marble numbers in the master suite and another in one of the secondary bedrooms in which the terlit sits right up next to the floor to a ceiling window where we fear someone with binoculars at the Time Warner Center across Columbus Circle could easily watch a person do their dirty bizness should they be so inclined.
Other amenities, according to listing information and a peek at the floor plan, include a service area with a full bathroom (since rich people prefer the help not use their terlits), laundry facilities and a pantry for storing extra paper towels and canned goods. The master suite has a proper foyer which obstructs sight lines from the living spaces into the boo-dwar, two bathrooms (one, unfortunately, without a window), and five closets comprised of 3 walk-ins, one linen and one standard thingamuhjobby.
Although it’s tough to tell from the lackluster listing photos, Mister Norton’s digs were designed by noted interior decorator Sheila Bridges who also did up the Harlem offices of Bill Clinton, the red-nosed ex-president. Miz Bridges does fine work so we won’t hold her responsible for the bizarre and conversation unfriendly arrangement of furniture in the living room that was surely created by Mister Norton’s staff without a consult from Miz Bridges.
As we discussed back in August of 2008, Mister Norton and his new wifey, a financier named Gwen, have decamped to much more modest but still frightfully expensive ($6,800,000) downtown digs that measure 2,861 square feet of interior space with another 1,100 square feet of city view terrace. As far as we know, Mister Norton still owns a drop-dead 8 bedroom Queen Anne style Victorian retreat on easy going but high toned Martha’s Vineyard.