Visit to the Corner Penthouse at the Plaza

The man who was originally going to buy this place called it an “Attic” and when he first saw it (after buying it from the floor plans,) he pulled out of the deal, and then sued the Developer. One of the Designers told me it was “quite a challenge” as it was assembled from many smaller rooms and spaces. Some guests playfully joked that they had already bought the apartment 5 minutes before anyone else arrived. However you slice it, the Triplex Corner Penthouse No. 2009 at the Plaza Hotel is up for sale, and can be yours, if you’ve got the change to plunk down for it. How much? A mere 37.5 Million. Yes, that is not a misprint. I know. My jaw dropped too. I’ve been in some expensive Real Estate in my life, but I’m thinking so far, that’s the apex.

I was invited to a cocktail party there and jumped at the chance. Not so much for the plentiful cases of moderately priced Prosecco and not-so moderately priced Cipriani catered hors d’oeuvre, but sheer and utter wonder. As is the case with many New Yorkers, I have walked by the Plaza hundreds of times as I used to work in the area and my dentist’s office is two doors down*, but never went into one of the rooms! Lobby, yes. Oak Bar, sure. But to be in that venerable New York Institution and look out and see THE View of the Park? I’m in. (*Dr. Orbach has a great view of the Park too, but it’s just a better time not having someone poke you in the mouth with a metal hook.)

Upon arrival at the Red-Carpeted Entrance at One Central Park South, I met my lovely party hostess, then an usherette, a very funny and pleasant elevator operator, an usher who showed me to Penthouse 2009, a white-gloved doorman who held the door open, a cocktail waiter who offered a bellini from a silver platter, entered the place, and saw THIS:

Not bad, right? Walking in, I was immediately drawn to the spot just to the right of the piano, and proceeded to stare wide-eyed out the windowed glass wall, which was not unlike an urban greenhouse. The Living Room was quite large, and could easily host a party for 30 or 40 of your closest friends, but all my attention focused on the VIEWS!! I mean… Oh. My. God. Check it:

Central Park and Fifth Avenue directly ahead! It truly doesn’t get much better. Except on the terrace outside the Master Bedroom, where… it got better!! The air is different: a more pronounced breeze. Fresher. You feel closer to the city and its history, among some of its most beautiful examples of architecture.

Hotel Pierre and Sherry-Netherland seen from the Terrace

The Sun beginning to set behind Central Park West

I love sunsets. And wish I stayed a little longer to catch it, but had pretty much seen the apartment twice by that time: Private elevator, lots of bedrooms, lots of bathrooms, marble this, granite that. Anyone who has drooled over the pages of Architectural Digest for as many years as I have will have no problem visualizing the joint.

The 21st Floor is the Master Suite….

With His and Hers Bathrooms…


…and 3 master closets to boot. You get the idea.

They kept the doorknobs after the renovation!

Years ago, when I heard the news that a developer had bought the hotel – which, admittedly at that point was fading a bit – I had mixed feelings. Yes, it’s an icon of the City, and should be restored to it’s Gilded Age Glory, but the very steep price to the City would be that half the rooms (all the ones facing the Park…the good ones) would be sold as condos and people couldn’t rent them anymore. That was something I had always wanted to do in New York, even though I have always lived here. Just think of how wonderful it would have been to have Central Park, Fifth Avenue and Central Park West as the last things you saw before going to bed, and the first things you saw when you woke up in the morning. If only once.

Tonight was nice. It was a little nod to a dream I wanted to fulfill. It is a beautiful and grand building that everyone should visit at least once. For the view. For tea downstairs. For people-watching. For Eloise. For whatever. It’s nice to dream. Especially on a Grand Scale. Especially in New York.

For a look at some more great spaces check out my design website at www.joecangelosi.com

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