Helen Gurley Brown’s Penthouse Listed at $20 Million

Legendary Cosmopolitan editrix-in-chief Helen Gurley Brown told Vanity Fair in 2007 that her four-story apartment, which extends up into one of the three towers of the Beresford building on New York City’s Central Park West was “the best apartment in New York City.” And this month, more than three years after her death, the magnificently eccentric penthouse popped up for sale at $20 million. The gutsy, Chanel-clad sexual-politics pioneer and her late husband, four-time Oscar-nominated producer David Brown, purchased the oddball aerie in the 1970s from director Mike Nichols.

Done up in a bold and decidedly camp-tinged glamour, the blush-pink living room stretches to 30 feet, with hair-straightening park and skyline views and downright kooky floral and leopard print carpeting, while the dining room, lined with cushioned banquettes, is slathered in lacquered lipstick-red paint. With just one proper bedroom — a full-floor master with dressing room and bubble-gum-hued shag carpeting — there are two puny staff bedrooms and a bathroom tucked up under the kitchen, and the en suite library, just off the entrance gallery, could easily be converted to another bedroom. A top floor observatory has 17-foot ceilings and massive arched windows, as well as candy-apple red-shag carpeting, and in addition to a vertiginous, three-foot wide terrace that wraps around the living room, there are two additional terraces, both off the stair landing outside the master bedroom. One of them, at nearly 2,300 square feet, is surely among the largest on Central Park West.

Designed by celebrated architect Emory Roth, and built in the late 1920s, before apartment-house living was fashionable (even if the apartment was as large as a private house), the Beresford has long attracted high-profile residents. The two other tower penthouses are reportedly owned by retired Coach CEO Lew Frankfort and tennis great John McEnroe, and a short list of the many past and present residents includes Rock Hudson, Jerry Seinfeld, Glenn Close, Diana Ross and Tony Randall.

listing photos and floor plan: Sotheby’s International Realty

Popular on Variety

More Dirt

  • Jeff Bhasker House Los Angeles

    Jeff Bhasker Buys Groovy Los Feliz Midcentury Modern

    Over the years, unmolested and original midcentury modern homes have become increasingly scarce, even in the midcentury mecca that is Los Angeles. So when a 1958 gem in prime Los Feliz became available last year, for the very first time ever, potential buyers flocked to the residential time capsule. The unassuming house quickly sold for [...]

  • Julia Roberts House Malibu

    Julia Roberts Sells Malibu House to the Billionaire Next Door

    Although the property was never available on the open market, Julia Roberts and longtime husband Danny Moder have sold one of their “spare” Malibu homes in a quiet $8 million deal, representing a modest increase over the $7.45 million they paid for the 1.2-acre estate four years ago, back in January 2016. The landlocked house, [...]

  • David Talbert House Woodland Hills

    Filmmaker David E. Talbert Upgrades in Woodland Hills

    Veteran playwright-turned-successful Tinseltown filmmaker David E. Talbert (“Almost Christmas,” “First Sunday,” the upcoming Netflix holiday special “Jingle Jangle”) and his longtime wife Lyn have substantially upsized their San Fernando Valley residential circumstances with the $2.4 million purchase of a plus-sized house in Woodland Hills. Tucked away within a guard-gated community known as Westchester County Estates, [...]

  • Carissa Davino House Los Angeles

    Marijuana Maven Carissa Davino Buys $9 Million L.A. Mansion

    California’s legalization of recreational marijuana has reaped incredible financial rewards for many in the cannabis industry, but most notably for those at the very top of the proverbial food (weed?) chain. One of those executives is Carissa Davino, a Chicago resident who now spends a significant amount of time in Los Angeles, where her various [...]

  • Morgan Brown House Los Angeles

    Morgan Brown Picks Up Historic Hollywood Hills 'Village'

    Though she’s probably best-known to the general public as Gerard Butler’s longtime on/off girlfriend, Morgan Brown has substantial independent means of her own — she’s an accomplished interior designer and real estate investor who’s owned and built a number of luxury homes in the L.A. area. She’s also a daughter of the late Harry Joe [...]

  • Nev Schulman Condo

    ‘Catfish’ Co-Host Nev Schulman Lists Manhattan-view Brooklyn Condo

    Nev Schulman, known to MTV watchers as the co-creator and co-host of the long-running reality series “Catfish: The TV Show,” has listed a contemporary condominium in Brooklyn’s hyper-hipster Williamsburg neighborhood with an asking price of almost $2.2 million. Tax records show Schulman, who based the “Catfish” TV series on the acclaimed 2010 documentary “Catfish,” in [...]

  • Mythbusters Historic Cultural Monuments

    Mythbusters: Historic-Cultural Monuments

    Everyone with an interest in architecture knows that Los Angeles is a veritable wonderland of architectural treasures, and those of us who cherish beautiful buildings are regularly horrified to see magnificent properties diminished by owners with a lack of vision, or demolished by greedy developers. Who could forget the “howls of protest” from architecture preservationists [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content