Thursday Floor Plan Porn

SELLER: Bruce D. Fiedorek
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $34,000,000
SIZE: 7,000 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Let’s jump in our time capsules, children, and swoosh back to April 2009 when Max Abelson—former writer of the Manhattan Transfers column of the New York Observer who has gone on to bigger and better things at Bloomberg News—gleefully let the real estate cat out of the bag on the so-called “quiet listing” of a la-di-da residence located in one of New York City’s finest (and most expensive) Fifth Avenue co-operative apartment houses. The exceptionally spacious residence, then available to those in the know and with the dough, carried a whopping price tag of $45,000,000 and was revealed by Mister Abelson to be owned by former Morgan Stanley vice chairman Bruce D. Fiedorek.

We’re not sure how much serious interest Mister Fiedorek’s fifth floor spread generated when quietly available for forty-five million George Washingtons but we do know that half a year later, the mansion-sized sprawler popped up on the open market with an official and significantly lower asking price of $34,000,000.

Mister Fiedorek’s posh pad remained on the open market for nearly a full year before it was de-listed. Seven months after that the undeniably capacious co-operative crib reappeared with a familiar $34,000,000 asking price. Nine more months brings us up to date and the apartment tarries on the market with a still-familiar $34,000,000 asking price and, as per current listing information, brawny $11,811 monthly maintenance fees.

Listing information shows the bounteous 14-room apartment, worked over in an opulently casual manner—if there can be such a thing—by Stephen Sills and James Huniford and photographed for the November 2006 issue of Architectural Digest—is in “triple-mint condition” with a total of 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. The A.D. article pegs the apartment at a rather grand 7,000 square feet.

The meticulously restored, updated and completely upgraded interior spaces offer hand-finished oak Parquet de Versailles floors underfoot that wear their advanced age with a gentle dignity; juicy 12-foot ceilings in the public entertaining rooms embellished with gilded plaster moldings and elaborate Louis XV-style ceiling medallions; towering French doors that open to reveal stone balustrades that overlook Fifth Avenue; bleached antique chestnut paneling salvaged from an 18th century barn somewhere; and 100-plus feet of Fifth Avenue frontage. It should be noted, however, that a truly enviable and plum view of Central Park is unfortunately greatly obstructed by The Metropolitan Museum of Art directly across the street.

The meat and potatoes of Mister Fiedorek apartment, as seen in the above floor plan included with marketing materials, encompass a quartet of rooms that include an unexpectedly modest foyer carved out of what was originally a positively palatial (and, let’s be honest, unctuous and ostentatious) 40-plus foot long reception gallery; a 35-foot long reception hall/sitting room/library/office (the remainder of the original reception gallery); a sparely dressed, ballroom-like living room filled with serious artwork that stretches more than 38 feet long and 21 feet wide; a banquet hall-sized dining room paneled that very modernly does double-duty as a family room. A small vestibule joins the reception hall/sitting room/library/office and the dining/family room to the kitchen area and provides discreet access to an anteroom for the wonderfully secluded (but unfortunately windowless) powder room.

The southeast flank of the U-shaped apartment contains two family/guest bedrooms, each with en suite bathing and terliting facility, and a corner master suite with bedroom, separate sitting room/office, two walk-in closets plus additional built-in storage cabinets, and dual bathrooms, one with soaking tub and separate shower and both with gigantic windows for proper light and ventilation.

The northwest wing, formerly a warren of staff and service quarters, extends back from the especially spacious, center-island eat-in kitchen and includes an intimately-sized den with built-in entertainment cabinet and a frightfully long L-shaped hallway of which open a laundry closet, service entrance, two additional staff or guest bedrooms that share a single bathroom, and a cell-sized staff room better suited for use as a petite work out room, Yoga nook, scrap booking center, or household office.

The apartment is located in a notably elegant, suitably sober, and hideously swank McKim, Mead & White-designed pre-war pile, an Italian Renaissance palazzo sort of thing with a stately rusticated limestone base and pitched copper roof. The building was originally finished with jewelry and silver safes mounted in to the walls of each apartment, faxu-bois fireproofed front doors, a lobby lined with Italian marble, hallways floored with Tennessee marble, and elevators sheathed in French walnut. The services are, natch, white glove an include full-time doorman to do odious things like sign for packages, pull doors open, hold the elevator and hold umbrellas over resident’s coiffured heads as the dart from a town car to the front door in the rain.

Some of the other large and lavish abodes are owned by globe trotters and power brokers who include media investor Steve Rattner; mergers and acquisitions mogul Joseph Perella; booze heir Matthew Bronfman who paid $18,000,000 for eccentric social world doyenne Anne Slater’s long-time residence in November 2007; commercial real estate honcho Frederick Beinecke who had his maisonette unit on the market in late 2010 with a $24,000,000 asking price (later reduced to $17,500,000 before being taken off the market); billionaire businessman Len Blavatnik who bought his full-floor unit directly under Mister Fiedorek’s in January 2007 for $27,500,000.

Financier Mark Rachesky paid $20,000,000 for a 14-room residence at 998 Fifth Avenue in August 2006, which at the time, according to listing information, had 5 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms. Mister and Missus Rachesky have since purchased a deluxe duplex at the even more exclusive (and difficult to get into) 834 Fifth Avenue where they paid an astonishing $33,444,500 to live up in the same building as Rupert Murdoch, Charles Schwab, Laurie Tisch, Miriam Haas, and commercial real estate magnate Larry Heyman who in January 2011 paid a pocketbook punishing $36,000,000 for Limited Brands’ Leslie Wexner’s titanic duplex.

Some of the other residents–or owners–at 834 Fifth Avenue include Bing Crosby’s son Harry; philanthropist, haute couture queen and high society doyenne Carroll McDaniel Portago Carey-Hughes Pistell Petrie who once lived on the 5th floor and now lives in Pauline Pitt-designed digs on the 10th floor; the famously fat-living former “King of Wall Street” John Gutfreund and his very social wife Susan whose live primarily in a plush Parisian apartment they put up for sale in 2010 but still maintain an opulent Henri Samuel-designed 16-room apartment at 834 Fifth Avenue that measures in at a hefty hefty hefty 12,000 square feet. Your Mama has many times discussed 834 Fifth Avenue and its long list of high net worth residents who occupy some of the most grand and elegant apartments in all of New York City.

But we digress…

Also currently on the open market in Mister Fiedorek’s buttoned up building at 998 Fifth Avenue with an asking price of $20,000,000—reduced from its original $23,000,000 price—is a mid-floor, 12-room duplex owned, as per property records, by businesswoman and real estate tycoon Connie Milstein. who picked up the sumptuous 5,400 square foot apartment (floor plan above) in August 2006 for $15,750,000. With all its original architectural detail intact, including “antique paneling, leaded glass windows, a stained glass curved two story church window, boisserie, antique Georgian mantles and numerous other original moldings and detail,” Miz Milstein’s apartment features a foyer with baronial staircase, an almost 800 square foot formal living room with fireplace, 2 additional fireplaces in the formal dining room and upstairs library, 3-4 family bedrooms (plus 1-2 decent-sized staff bedrooms) and, by our count of the above floor plan a total of 5 full and 2 half bathrooms.

interior photos and floor plan (Fiedorek): Sotheby’s Realty
exterior photo (Fiedorek): Scott Bintner for Property Shark
floor plan (Milstein): Corcoran

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