I was getting a ton of hits for Caroline Kennedy because of the Democratic Convention, so I was going to do a post on her. Well, one thing led to another:
Jackie O. loved New York City. She wanted to bring up her children there. From 1964 to 1994 she lived on the 15th floor of 1040 Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It is on the north-east corner of Fifth Avenue and 85th Street, across the street from Central Park and a block up from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A year after her husband, President John F. Kennedy, was shot dead she moved to New York to 1040 with her two little children, John, 4, and Caroline, 7.
She moved there because it was close to her sister Lee Radziwill and because she wanted Caroline to go to school at Sacred Heart on 91st Street, one of the best girls’ schools in the city. She also knew that the Upper East Side would pretty much let her be. She went to mass at St Thomas More on 89th Street.
She bought the entire 15th floor in 1964 for $250,000 (200,000 crowns). In 1996, after she died, it was sold for $9.5 million (2 million crowns). In 2008 it sold for $19.5 million (1.5 million crowns). One of the later owners was the 33rd richest person in the world.
She filled the apartment with her books, her paintings and her art objects. She had a piano she could not play and a telescope which she used. She had no central air conditioning.
The place was friendly rather than grand. She wanted a private place for her family and friends to enjoy and feel at home in. It changed little over 30 years: “She was ageless and her style was ageless,” her designer said about the place.
Because so many of her things were sold off after her death, hundreds of people own things that were once there.
With only two floors above it, it has a wonderful view of Central Park: you can see the Reservoir, now named after her, and the 3,400-year-old Temple of Dendur, which she had helped to bring to the Met museum from Egypt. The 15th floor has a terrace where you can step outside and take in the view.
From 1996 to 2000 much of the 15th floor was rebuilt and the layout changed somewhat.
In 2006 the 15th floor had:
- Facing Central Park:
- master bedroom
- library (with fireplace)
- living room (with fireplace)
- dining room (with fireplace)
- four bedrooms in all
- three terraces in all
- two dressing rooms
- a staff room
- five and a half bathrooms
- a wine room
- a gallery
- a chef’s kitchen
- a laundry room
- a cloak room
The building went up in 1930, done in a neo-Classical style. It was designed by Rosario Candela, who did many luxury apartments in the city in the 1920s and 1930s. The roofline is pretty strange and sets it apart. The building has 17 floors and only 27 apartments.
The building has a doorman but no garage or health club.