778 Park Avenue at 73rd Street
Circa 1930 -1931 // ARCHITECT: Rosario Candela // BUILDER: Charles Newmark
778 Park is built on a smaller parcel than the buildings at 720, 730, 740, or 770 Park, but it is just as elegant and important. Built in a neo-Georgian style, there is a two-story limestone base, with brick above, accented with large stone corner quoins. The fenestration pattern is extremely regular, due to the lack of duplex apartments (except for the penthouses). On that score, the building contains mostly huge, full floor simplex apartments. Candela subtly tweaks the layouts on each floor, offering variations on the same basic theme. Naturally, the top of the building consists of unique penthouses with terraces created by the building’s setbacks. The stretch on the west side of Park Avenue, from 720 Park to 784 Park (71st to 73rd Streets) is “Candela Alley.” Together with Emery Roth and Lafayette Goldstone, these buildings present one of the most stunning assemblages of residential architecture anywhere. The ‘sky-scape’ is quite breathtaking, the modern equivalent of the picturesque roof-scapes of medieval cathedrals.
The building contains 18 units configured into six to 17-room residences. A typical full-floor apartment comprises 17 rooms, six bedrooms and six and one-half to nine and one-half baths. The homes feature wood-burning fireplaces and 12-foot ceilings. There are terraced duplexes on the upper floors, and a duplex maisonette with its own entrance and address on 73rd Street.
As of March 2010, the late Brooke Astor’s 14-room, duplex residence was on the market for $24.9 million. This apartment occupies the entire 16th and part of the 15th floors. An August 2007 article in The New York Post stated that William Lauder, president and CEO of Estee Lauder, was approved by the building’s board to purchase a 14-room apartment with 5 bedrooms, 7 and one-half baths, wood-burning fireplaces and three terraces on the 14th floor for about $27.5 million. The seller was Sherman Cohen. The apartment is 11 floors above an apartment that was being put on the market at about the same time by designer Vera Wang for $35 million. According to public record, Vera Wang’s apartment on the third floor in the building sold for $33.6 million in January of 2008. This full floor apartment featured 14 rooms, six bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms and two maids’ rooms.
Other individuals who have lived in the building include former American Express chairman James Robinson, the late Roone Arledge, president of ABC, and the late Peter Sharp, owner of the Carlyle Hotel.
WHAT A BUYER CAN EXPECT TO PAY: The apartments here generally cost in excess of $20M