The Penthouse Where Leonard Bernstein Once Lived Is for Sale


A Park Avenue penthouse that was once home to the composer Leonard Bernstein and his family is returning to the market for the first time in more than four decades. It is the home where Mr. Bernstein and his wife, Felicia, held an event in 1970 in support of the Black Panther Party, famously written about as “Radical Chic” by the journalist Tom Wolfe in New York magazine.

The sprawling duplex, atop 895 Park Avenue, at East 79th Street, is being sold by the family of Carol Feinberg, an art collector and philanthropist who died last year. She and her husband, Maurice Feinberg, a wine and spirits importer who died in 2002, bought the co-op unit from the Bernsteins in 1974.

“I do remember the excitement of my parents when they bought the apartment,” said David Feinberg, the youngest of the Feinbergs’ three children, who was in high school when the family moved into the penthouse. “I remember the dining room had these red velvet walls and a big, square, mirrored table. I was sad to see both go.”

The Feinbergs made few other changes. They kept the prewar layout largely intact, aside from combining some smaller rooms on the lower level and adding a solarium at the top. “I suspect whoever will buy this apartment will do a major renovation,” said Mr. Feinberg, a corporate lawyer based in Boston, adding that while some areas may need updating, the unit has “good bones.”

The asking price for the apartment is $29.5 million, with monthly maintenance of $21,536. The listing brokers are Bonnie Chajet, Allison Chiaramonte and Tania Isacoff Friedland, of Warburg Realty.

The apartment encompasses around 6,300 square feet on the 19th and 20th floors of the 37-unit building, plus about 700 square feet of outdoor space that offers panoramic cityscape and Central Park views. It contains six bedrooms, six and a half bathrooms and five wood-burning fireplaces.

The main entrance is on the top floor, where a private elevator vestibule opens to a spacious central gallery with a powder room and a curved staircase. The gallery leads to the library, living room and dining room, each grandly proportioned with a wood-burning fireplace and connecting to a large wraparound terrace that is irrigated and landscaped.

The terrace was a favorite for family functions, Mr. Feinberg said. “We had Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve parties,” he said. “We would watch the fireworks go off over the pond.”

Beyond the dining room is a sun-drenched, glass-enclosed solarium with a bluestone floor and doors to the terrace. The kitchen, also off the dining room, includes a hooded commercial-style range, an extra-large pantry, wine storage and a separate, smaller terrace.

The bedrooms are downstairs, where there is also a private elevator entrance; all but one has an en suite bathroom. The primary bedroom features a spacious seating area, fireplace and walk-in closet. There is also an office, a laundry room and another full bathroom.

Many of the apartment’s original architectural details remain, including the wide-plank mahogany floors, crown moldings and carved-wood fireplace mantels. Ceiling heights reach more than 11 feet on the top level and more than nine feet on the bottom level, and there are oversize windows throughout the unit.

The Bernsteins moved to 895 Park from the Osborne on West 57th Street in the early 1960s. He was the music director at the New York Philharmonic, and the couple wanted a bigger home for social events.

Mr. Feinberg said his father, who ran Monsieur Henri Wines, often entertained clients at the apartment, too. And like the Bernsteins, his parents kept a piano in the living room, which his mother used to play.

The Art Deco, limestone-and-brick building at 895 Park Avenue was erected in 1930 and converted into a co-op in 1952. It is in the Lenox Hill neighborhood, on the Upper East Side.

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