SELLER: Liza Minnelli
LOCATION: New York, N.Y.
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Liza has left the building. No, children, the iconic entertainer, 69, didn’t pass on to the other side; she sold her legendary apartment at the luxurious and fully staffed if painfully nondescript Imperial House complex on East 69th Street for $8,372,591. So the story goes, the Oscar-, Golden Globe-, Emmy-, Tony-, Grammy- and Drama Desk Award-winner, indisputably an indelible and beloved strand of New York City’s cultural DNA, will still spend loads of time in the Big Apple but plans to pack her vast collection of beaded dresses and spend more time on the West Coast with family and friends. (We can all be assured there’s more than one New Yorker we know who will, upon hearing the news, shriek to the heavens and collapse in anguish that Manhattan will no longer be, residentially speaking, Liza “New York, New York” Minnelli’s primary home.)
The co-operative apartment was not listed on the open market, so details of the apartments current condition and configuration are, for all intents and purposes, nil. However, a 1981 spread in Architectural Digest shows the 21st-floor spread was then decked out in a Liza-centric fashion by New York interior designer Timothy Macdonald. It’s quite possible, or course, that any number of small and/or radical decorative alterations have been made since, but it’s almost as likely that not a single solitary thing has been changed and the whole place preserved in all its unabashed, early ’80s glamour. Whatever the case, as shown on Mister Macdonand’s online portal, Miz Minnelli’s sanctuary then included a huge, white marble-floored entrance gallery defined and enlivened by a couple of graphically colorful artworks by her great friend Andy Warhol; at the far end, a four-panel portrait of the lady of the house sporting her signature pixie haircut; and, over a floating shelf, a sizable montage of Miz Minnelli and her mother, showbiz deity Judy Garland. Although nowadays relegated mostly to the windows of cheap rentals and tawdry motels, the roomy living room had what were then considered trés chic vertical blinds over the windows and a surfeit of modular sofas covered in pristine white fabric. An adjoining dining space had three more Warhols — a triptych of her mother behind a marble-topped table; a den had more white upholstered modular sofas and was hung with a slew of Liza’s theater posters; and another lounge area included an ebony grand piano, a couple of zebra-striped bergère chairs that this property gossip would eat a Mercedes to own, and a boatload of black and white photos of Liza and her famous pals.
The Imperial House, at Lexington Avenue, may be too far east to be fashionable with high-nosed high society types but, as it turns out, Miz Minnelli was not the only high-profile resident of the circa 1960 post-war behemoth. Property records show sex positive “Fear of Flying” author Erica Jong and her husband own a place a handful of floors up from Miz Minnelli’s now former apartment.
Photos: Timothy MacDonald