740 Park Avenue

740 Park Avenue is a luxury cooperative apartment building on Park Avenue between East 71st and 72nd Streets in the Lenox Hill neighborhood[1] of Manhattan, New York City, which was described in Business Insider in 2011 as "a legendary address" that was "at one time considered (and still thought to be by some) the most luxurious and powerful residential building in New York City".[2] The "pre-war" building's side entrance address is 71 East 71st Street.[3]

740 Park Avenue
740 Park Avenue.jpg
740 Park in 2013
General information
TypeCooperative apartment building
Architectural styleArt Deco
Location740 Park Avenue
CoordinatesCoordinates: 40°46′15″N 73°57′53″W / 40.7708°N 73.9647°W / 40.7708; -73.9647
Construction started1929
Height78.03 m
Technical details
Floor count19
Design and construction
ArchitectRosario Candela and Arthur Loomis Harmon

The 19-story building was designed in an Art Deco architectural style and consists of 31 units, including duplexes and triplexes.[2] The architectural height of the building is 78.03 metres (256.0 ft).


The three-storey penthouse at 740 Park Avenue

The building was constructed in 1929 by James T. Lee, the grandfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – Onassis lived there as a child – and was designed by Rosario Candela and Arthur Loomis Harmon; Harmon became a partner of the newly named Shreve, Lamb and Harmon during the year of construction. The building was officially opened in October 1930, a year after the Great Depression began, and the poor timing was devastating. Even though the New York elite had moved in, the building had failed financially by 1933. It remained in the red for 50 years.[4] It was not until the 1980s that the building's apartments sold for incredibly high prices.[2][5]

In 1937, one of the first well-known residents was John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who moved into 15B, a three-storey triplex that many still consider New York's crown jewel apartment. According to New York City real estate lore, "whoever inherits the biggest penthouse at 740 inherits the throne of New York society itself."[4][6] In 1971, Saul Steinberg bought that triplex for $285,000 (equivalent to $1,799,000 in 2019) and after two divorces sold it to Stephen Schwarzman for "slightly above or below $30 million" in 2000. This was the highest price ever paid on Park Avenue[7] until May 2012, when Howard Marks paid $52.5 million for two adjoining two-storey duplexes (totaling 30 rooms), which set a short-lived record as the highest price ever paid for a co-op apartment.[8]

In 1979, the French government purchased an 18-room duplex for $600,000 to be used as their United Nations ambassador's residence.[9] The French government's duplex unit was sold in June 2014 for $70 million, reportedly $22 million over the asking price – a bidding war involving three prospective buyers escalated the eventual selling price. The buyer was hedge fund billionaire Israel Englander, who already lived in the unit directly above, and surpassed a record set just days earlier by Egypt's richest man, Nassef Sawiris, for a penthouse unit on nearby Fifth Avenue.[9]

Undergoing renovation in 2008

In 2005, author Michael Gross published a detailed book on the building and its history, 740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building. According to Gross, builder Lee's daughter, Janet Lee Bouvier, and son-in-law Jack Bouvier, attained the final open lease; according to one account, they did not pay for the lease.[10] Hedge fund manager David Ganek paid $19 million for the childhood duplex home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 2005.[11]

The residents of 740 Park were heavily affected by the financial crisis of 2007–2008, as many of the residents are hedge fund billionaires as opposed to the titans of industry like Rockefeller who moved in during the 1930s.[4] The building was once home to one of the world's largest private collections of Mark Rothko works.[11] The former owner—alleged Bernie Madoff middleman and ex-financier J. Ezra Merkin—still lives there, but the paintings were sold during the Madoff scandal.

Hedge fund billionaire Charles Stevenson paid $9 million for an apartment in the building and was the head of the 740 Park Avenue cooperative in December 2011.[2]

In 2012, the Alex Gibney documentary Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream aired on the "Independent Lens" series of the PBS TV network. The film details that the building was home to the highest concentration of billionaires in the United States.[12]

Notable residentsEdit

Applicants who have sought to purchase units in the building but have been refused include Barbra Streisand, Neil Sedaka and Russian billionaire Leonard Blavatnik.[2]



  1. ^ "740 Park Avenue". Emporis. Emporis GMBH. 2000–2014. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Zeveloff, Julie (December 29, 2011). "740 Park Avenue: Inside The Most Powerful Apartment Building In New York". Business Insider. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Gross, Michael. "Where the Boldface Bunk", The New York Times (March 11, 2004). Accessed October 8, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c Doran, James (January 17, 2009). "Richest apartment block in US becomes a house of horrors". The Guardian. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  5. ^ Goldberger, Paul "The King of Central Park West" Vanity Fair (September 2008)
  6. ^ "Peeking Behind the Gilded Walls of 740 Park Ave". The New York Times Magazine. October 9, 2005.
  7. ^ Barbenel, Josh (October 29, 2006). "The Candidate as Landlord". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2007.
  8. ^ Zeveloff, Julie; Galante, Meredith (May 14, 2012). "House of the Day: Legendary Investor Howard Marks Officially Bought New York's Most Expensive Co-Op For $52.5 Million". Business Insider. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Alberts, Hana R. (June 17, 2014). "France's Palatial 740 Park Pad Sells for $70M, Way Over Ask". Curbed New York. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  10. ^ Rogers, Teri Karush. "Peeking Behind the Gilded Walls of 740 Park Ave.", The New York Times (October 9, 2005). Accessed August 15, 2007.
  11. ^ a b "A look at the billionaire residents of 740 Park". The Real Deal New York. August 9, 2014.
  12. ^ "Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream". PBS. Independent Television Service (ITVS). 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  13. ^ Gross, Michael. "740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building". Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  14. ^ "Merrill Lynch CEO Thain Spent $1.22 Million On Office". CNBC.com. January 22, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2009.


External linksEdit