Exclusive: Georgette Mosbacher Puts Fifth Avenue Co-op on the Market

Exclusive: Georgette Mosbacher Puts Fifth Avenue Co-op on the Market

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But those days of festive galas and bipartisan suppers are coming to a close at the apartment, which occupies the fifth floor of the 14-story 1020 Fifth Avenue, at 83rd Street, across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ms. Mosbacher has decided to sell the place. The asking price for the four-bedroom, five-bath residence of approximately 5,000 square feet is $29.5 million, with a monthly maintenance of $9,375, according to the listing broker, John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens.

“It’s come to a point where I want to make a change in my life, and it won’t happen unless I shake it up,” said Ms. Mosbacher, who shares her apartment with a live-in housekeeper and two Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Guinevere and Galahad.

Ms. Mosbacher moved to the Fifth Avenue apartment in 1992. She was only its second occupant; the original inhabitant, she said, was an Italian countess who took up residence after the limestone-clad building was completed in 1925.

Georgette Mosbacher

Credit
Rick Wilking/Reuters

“The place was a wreck,” she recalled. “I gutted it to the girders.”

But she also restored many of the architectural details, like the painted coat of arms that graces the grand salon, the oak floors, ornate doors and three wood-burning fireplaces. And she added a few flourishes of her own.

The apartment is configured for maximum entertaining. A 25-by-11-foot central gallery with a gold-leaf soffit ceiling and two giant bronze centaurs near the main entrance separates the public rooms from the bedrooms and kitchen. The space also displays many of Ms. Mosbacher’s treasured mementos, among them: an authentic olive branch from a Greek ambassador; framed magazines and political cartoons in which she appeared; and a wooden American flag from Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, for whom she has been a devoted campaign fund-raiser.

One end of the gallery leads to a paneled library, which has a marble fireplace and a mariner’s map painted on its ceiling. A glimpse of nearby Central Park can be seen through the windows. At the other end is the formal dining room, with its walls upholstered in a jacquard fabric. A round table beneath a Russian chandelier seats 18 guests, which more recently included David H. Petraeus, the former general and director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

But the heart of the home is the 20-by-40-foot grand salon, which features a fireplace with an ornate plaster mantle and a massive crystal chandelier hanging from the center of the 20-foot-tall fresco-painted ceiling. Sixteen-foot-high paned windows face Fifth Avenue. The room, decorated in an eclectic mix of antiques, custom-made furniture and a player piano, can hold 200 people. (It’s carpeted to improve the acoustics and assuage the downstairs neighbors.) The furnishings and artwork are not included in the sale.

Throughout the salon are more cherished keepsakes: photographs of Ms. Mosbacher with the likes of George and Barbara Bush, Mr. Clinton and Newt Gingrich, and celebrities like Rush Limbaugh and Tom Cruise. One of her favorites is a portrait of her done in charcoal by Aaron Shikler.

Mr. Burger, the broker, noted the apartment’s room-to-room flow — Lalique glass doors, for example, connect the library and salon, and a hand-painted door in the salon connects to the dining room. “There are no dead-end rooms,” he said.

That’s also the case in the private living quarters, which are accessible through a door in the gallery. There, beyond the kitchen and service area, a long hallway, adorned with Gracie wallpaper, leads to the four en-suite bedrooms. One bedroom was converted into a massive dressing room that serves as an extension of the master suite. “This is my cocoon; I spend most of my time here,” Ms. Mosbacher said.

The third fireplace, with a plaster mantle and marble surround, anchors the master bedroom.

Ms. Mosbacher, who also once served as the chief executive of the Borghese beauty product company, said she will certainly miss the parties at the apartment, but also the Sundays spent at the Met and the many shops and restaurants in the neighborhood. But, she said, she is spending more time at her home in Naples, Fla., these days.

She said she would like to eventually relocate to Europe, while keeping a smaller apartment in New York. And she also plans to devote more time to her latest philanthropic effort, Protect Our Daughters, a self-defense program for girls and women taught by American veterans.

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