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The Old W.R. Hearst Penthouse in NYC Officially Lists for $38 Million

SELLERS: Benedict Silverman
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $38,000,000
SIZE: 7,000-ish square feet, 7 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen, children, Your Mama has the in-laws in town so we’re a bit ocupado for most of the day but before we trot off to watch a whole bunch of professional tennis players whack a yellow ball around a green court we thought we’d offer the children a few snaps and the floor plan for a quardruplex penthouse in New York City that was once part of a much larger quintuplex penthouse created in the late 19-teens by lavish living newspaperman William Randolph Hearst.

In the early part of the 20th century Mister Hearst leased the top three floors of 137 Riverside Drive to use as a private residence overlooking the might Hudson River. He later requested the building’s owner for more space but he was rebuffed. So, like any self-respecting captain of industry with more money than he knows what to do with, he went ahead and purchased the entire building for $950,000 and—so the story goes—proceeded to add a copper mansard to the building’s top that was 100 feet long and 30 feet tall where displayed his vast collection of medieval tapestries and suits and armor and such. Mister Hearst, who b lost the building (and his five floor penthouse) in 1930 to foreclosure—by then the magnate had relocated to Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA—and the super-sized urban aerie was eventually broken up into smaller apartments.

In the 1990s about 7000 square feet of various units that once comprised Mister Hearst’s megamansion in the sky—along with about 7,000 square feet of private terraces—were bought up by real estate financier and art collector Benedict Silverman who, in case you like a little depth to your real estate story, a couple years ago made headlines in the art world when he began to exhibit and sell off his extensive collection of 20th-century German and Austrian artworks including paintings by Egon Schiele, Otto Dix, George Grosz, and Gustav Klimt. Impressive stuff. Anyways…

Mister Benedict and his wife embarked on a renovation of the former Hearst penthouse that, really, has very little to do with the original layout and finishing. Gone are the heavily ornamented Greek, English, and Julius Caesar rooms. and in there place are a still insanely luxurious although much less rococo interiors that include, as per listing details, a total of seven bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms. The floor plan shows the existing penthouse has a double-height foyer; an 800 square foot combination living/dining room; a cozy, river-view library; a combination kitchen and family room with fireplace and direct access to a large, south-facing terrace; front and rear staircases; and a top floor solarium with curved walls and a nearly 100-foot long terrace that hovers over Riverside Drive and the Hudson River.
Bedrooms are spread through the penthouse including the master on the main level has a dressing room, several closets and direct access to the largest of the penthouse’s five terraces. A self-contained two bedroom and two bathroom apartment on the 12th floor—accessible via staircase in the penthouse’s laundry room—provides additional space for live-in domestic workers or snoring house guests.

listing photos and floor plan: Brown Harris Stevens

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