A full-floor residence in one of Manhattan‘s most exclusive buildings has landed on the market for the first time in 60 years.
With an asking price of $50 million, the third floor at 820 Fifth Ave. has earned the title of the week’s most expensive new listing on realtor.com®.
The 18-room home overlooking Central Park belonged to arts patron Jayne Wrightsman and oil tycoon Charles Wrightsman. He died in 1986 at the age of 90. She died earlier this year; she was 99.
In addition to this gorgeous home on the Upper East Side, Mrs. Wrightsman left behind a legacy of philanthropy, donating hundreds of artworks to the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Her estate is handling the sale of her residence, with proceeds to benefit charity, according to the New York Times.
The 7,000-square-foot layout includes 100 feet of Central Park frontage, with entertainment rooms spanning some 70 feet along Fifth Avenue.
Oversize windows take in the midtown Manhattan skyline and park views.
A private elevator landing opens to a 45-foot gallery with parquet de Versailles flooring and a wood-burning fireplace. That space leads into the drawing room, formal dining room, and library, all featuring 12-foot ceilings. The kitchen sits adjacent to a family room for casual dining.
A separate wing features five en suite bedrooms, as well as a study that could be converted into another bedroom. The light-filled master suite includes a fireplace and sitting area.
The home comes with staff bedrooms. But if more space is desired, a three-bedroom guest or staff apartment on the first level of the building can be purchased separately for $2.5 million.
The 12-story limestone building, built in 1916, has only one apartment per floor. High-profile residents have reportedly included Tommy Hilfiger, socialiteLily Safra, and hedge fund investor Kenneth Griffin. ( Griffin went on to spend$238 million on another New York City abode, the highest amount paid for a home in the U.S.)
And just having deep pockets isn’t enough to secure yourself a highly coveted spot in the high-end building. Potential buyers must plan to pay cash, as the building doesn’t allow financing. In addition, buyers must also have that special je ne sais quoi to earn the co-op board’s approval.
John Burger with Brown Harris Stevens holds the listing.
Big D Delight: Ready to move in, this four-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, over 2,400-square-foot home was built in 2006. It boasts traditional lines and finishes to suit almost any taste. The large lot means a big backyard for outdoor living and entertaining and a treeline view.
Minny midcentury: This brick-front midcentury modern home has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and nearly 1,300 square feet, spread across three levels. Recent updates include a new furnace, central air, custom window treatments, a renovated full bathroom, and fiber-optic wiring. The location is also a big plus—it’s across the street from a park, near trails, and within walking distance of restaurants and shops.
Desert dwelling: Dig that enormous cactus out front! Built in 1957, this brick ranch is suited for family living, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1,800 square feet. Exposed brick and wood, built-ins, large open spaces and plenty of natural light create a versatile space indoors. Outdoors, the quarter-acre lot features a large, in-ground pool, as well as a yard for kids or pets.
Boise beauty: Built in 1959, this well-preserved ranch home has only had one owner. A recent face-lift to the three bedroom, 1.5 bathroom, 1,400-square-foot house has given the interiors new life. Even with the updates, charming original details like the double fireplace, blond wood cabinetry, and built-ins are all intact.
Space to spread out: Built in 1830, this Greek Revival mansion has eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and more than 5,700 square feet—which means this historic home costs only $52 a square foot. The listing suggests that it could be used as an Airbnb or wedding venue, and it previously operated as the Emerson House Bed and Breakfast.
Close to Lake George in the Adirondacks, the home is filled with treasures: stained glass, crystal chandeliers, and custom woodwork. The nearly full-acre lot also includes a 4,000-square-foot carriage house.
Georgia gravy: Well-maintained since it was built a decade ago, this four-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home sits on more than a quarter-acre lot in the Lakeside Preserve planned community. Resident amenities include a clubhouse, pool with slide, basketball, tennis, a playground, and a lake. High ceilings, hardwood floors, plus neutral paint and carpet keep things light and airy in the home’s nearly 3,400 square feet.
Pop the popcorn: This large home, with a lovely fireplace, would be the perfect place to spend a night in, watching movies! Besides the big living room, a large kitchen with an island is just one of the highlights of this five-bedroom, three-bathroom, nearly 2,600-square-foot home, perfect for a family.
Revamped in Washington: This beauty of a bungalow was built in 1943 and recently remodeled. The bathrooms, granite countertops, furnace, and other major systems are all like-new. With five bedrooms and three bathrooms in over 2,800 square feet home, it’s located in Shadle Park and includes other upgrades, like hardwood floors and built-ins.
Park Ridge perfection: Built in 1946 and updated throughout, this two-bedroom brick bungalow has 1,450 square feet of living space. There’s also a basement being used as a roomy rec room, and an attic that’s currently being used as a third bedroom.
Do you cringe at the idea of stampeding to the mall to snag Black Friday deals? Then you might embrace shopping its far saner cousin: Small Business Saturday.
This event was started by American Express in 2010—during the dregs of the Great Recession—as a way to lure shoppers back to main street and encourage folks to buy from local businesses. The idea quickly caught on. As of 2018, over 7,500 stores and organizations in all 50 states participate with deals on anything you might need to stock those boxes under your Christmas tree, and more.
And there’s something in it for you, too: Not only are you getting deals on merchandise, you’re also exposed to plenty of unique stuff that might be tougher to find on, say, a ginormous retailing website named after a river in South America. And wouldn’t it be nice to give your niece a one-of-a-kind hat-and-glove set from that cute knitting shop around the corner rather than that cookie-cutter set everyone will be getting from Gap?
Here’s more about Small Business Saturday, why it’s good for consumers and their communities, as well as how to participate in your area. (And no, you don’t need to use an AmEx card to join in on these deals.)
When is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday takes place right between two of the biggest shopping days of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That’s no coincidence since its purpose is to serve as a counterpoint to both.
“The Friday and Monday events are a big deal for big-box retailers and online giants, while this day is about supporting small merchants, with an emphasis on brick-and-mortar stores,” explains Kristin McGrath, editor and shopping expert at BlackFriday.com.
And the benefits of shopping this event abound: Shopping at a small business feels good, helps neighbors, and keeps the money you shell out right in your own community. In fact, studies show that for every dollar spent at a local shop, 67 cents gets funneled back into the local economy, keeping those mom and pop businesses running.
A vibrant shopping area not only makes living in your area better, it also enhances your home’s appeal whenever you decide to sell your place.
What are the best Small Business Saturday deals?
Sure, if you’re in need of a megasize flat-screen TV, heading to a Black Friday doorbuster at a chain store makes sense. But if you need something small for a stocking, Yankee swap, or early Hanukkah gift, going local will get you something far more special.
“Small businesses are great for white elephant gifts because you’ll find plenty of unusual items that anyone would like, from coffee beans to soaps and candles,” says McGrath. You can help out local shops by encouraging members of your book club, block association, or office pool to adopt a “small business theme” and buy from local shops downtown.
Lots of items on display on Small Business Saturday are not just sold locally, they’re also likely to be crafted nearby, including wooden items, local clothing, and home decor accessories like pillows and artwork.
“Many jewelry designers can’t get into big-box stores, so you’ll find these unique wares in small local shops,” notes McGrath.
American Express makes it easy to pop in your ZIP code and find participating stores in your area. Head to the Shop Small homepage, and click on “Find Small Businesses Near You.” Another way to plan your shopping is to keep an eye out for signs in store windows that advertise Small Business Saturday participation.
Small merchants often advertise these special Saturday sales on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. And you might sign up for your favorite retailers’ mailing list if they have one, says McGrath. And since many local farmers markets are on Saturdays, this group is a top pick for local shopping.
“The farmers market is made up completely of local merchants, makers, and crafters, so stopping by is an easy way to participate in Small Business Saturday,” says McGrath.
Granted, the savings at small businesses won’t be nearly as impressive as those at the big-box stores on this same weekend, but many shoppers would be happy to pay a little extra if it keeps their local community humming.
Kanye West may have fame and fortune galore, but that doesn’t mean the superstar can do whatever he wants. Case in point: His grand plans to build an amphitheater on his recently purchased ranch in Wyoming have ground to a halt because he hadn’t procured the proper permits.
According to the Missoulian, West had purchased the 4,500-acre Monster Lake Ranch in September, and had submitted an application to build a 70,684-square-foot amphitheater on the property. But rather than wait for the approval to come through, he broke ground anyway.
County officials visited the site, saw that work was already in progress, and said it had to stop, pronto.
West will now need to submit a new building permit application before construction can continue—a decision that has been applauded by building experts since it sends the message that no one, not even celebrities, should be able to break ground and build without the proper paperwork.
“City officials showed Kanye West no favoritism, which is very refreshing for most of us,” Benjamin Ross, a real estate agent with Mission Real Estate Group in Texas, told realtor.com®. “Without proper permits, anyone, including Kanye West, must cease all construction immediately. Kanye should be thankful they caught him early.”
If the violation was detected further down the road, Ross adds, “it could have cost him big.”
What does ‘breaking ground’ mean?
Although it has an official ring to it, “breaking ground” basically means you’ve begun construction, which typically starts by preparing the earth on which a structure will be built.
“’Breaking ground’ is a common term because most projects start with digging something like a foundation or sewer lines,” says Tyler Drew, a California-based real estate developer.
The process also helps contractors and homeowners know what to expect on the land where they’re building.
“Breaking ground means you can obtain more information about the site and see where potential issues may come up,” says Jared Duff, owner of Kraftsmen, a Windsor, CT–based home remodeling company.
Can any work be done before a permit is procured? Technically, no.
“By law, no work is allowed to be started on any property without obtaining a permit from the local building department. Period,” Duff says.
What happens if you break ground without a permit
While breaking ground without a permit might not seem like a big deal, West could be in for a harsh reality check.
“Breaking ground without a permit is not just foolish but also illegal,” Duff says.
Permits ensure that no issues exist underground with electrical wires, gas or plumbing lines, conservation land, or endangered species. If an accident occurs as a result of construction, a permitless homeowner would be liable.
“Permits keep the homeowner and the contractor protected under the state’s contractor code laws,” Duff adds.
Homeowners without permits could face fines or delays, or projects could be canceled indefinitely. Local inspectors could also direct federal officials, like from the Environmental Protection Agency, to the project. If federal inspectors find proof that a homeowner willfully violated the law, they could impose a prison sentence.
“Some state and local authorities may even mail any known suppliers, threatening them with fines if they continue to supply your job with materials,” Drew adds. “Often the local police are involved, and will drive past your site to enforce the orders.”
Get a permit before your project goes too far
The take-home lesson? If you’re gearing up for a building project, get your permits squared away—or else!
The first step is to consult with a reputable architect and builder before you put your shovel in the ground, Ross says. For renovations on existing structures, hiring a competent contractor is key. Check with your local licensing authority that the individual is a licensed general contractor in good standing.
Once you’ve chosen a contractor and architect, you’ll work out the plans for what will be built. But, before you get too far, visit your local building and zoning department to find out what permits are needed, Duff says.
“Ask if the project would be approved based on the plans,” he says. “They will steer any homeowner in the right direction and make sure they are not starting a project that can’t be completed.”
Holiday entertaining is all about one-of-a-kind decor, and we’ve got some show-stopping looks that you can make yourself. You don’t have to be an expert crafter to accomplish these easy DIY projects. Creating a custom hanging herb chandelier and dessert takeaways will really impress your guests at this year’s seasonal get-together.
Create a rustic vibe by wrapping the dining table in brown kraft paper. Arrange leaves, loaves of bread and open bottles of wine along the center of this setup. Lovely butter knives atop neatly placed cloth napkins seal the deal.
Serve tea or coffee with your homemade treat bags after the meal to brighten everyone’s day. Taking the little bit of time to make this thoughtful goody that your guests can break into right away or take home really makes visitors feel special. Taffy, cookies or a slice of pie are all great sweets to bag up for later.
Hanging Herb Chandelier Materials
3-foot cut of wood (or desired length, depending on your table)
Hold your holiday decor horses! Before you purchase gobs of tinsel and piles of twinkle lights, take another look at items you already have – they may be the holiday embellishment you’ve been looking for.
By hunting through your cabinets and closets, you can easily repurpose common household items into yuletide decor for your abode. Need a little inspiration? These design experts share how they style up everyday objects into festive flourishes.
Dig through the craft closet
“Bust out the burlap! I’ve been known to use burlap for anything from tablecloths to a Christmas tree skirt. It’s so versatile and lends an organic, rustic vibe.”
– Brooke Wagner, Brooke Wagner Design
“Roll out brown or black butcher paper on your table like a runner. It somehow elevates everything you set on it. Plus, you can write your guests names on it in black marker (or chalk marker for black paper) instead of place cards.”
– Jenn Muirhead, Jennifer Muirhead Interiors
“Paint a wall with chalkboard paint. It’s the perfect themed accent wall that’s fun and creative, and it gets the kids involved, too.”
– Melissa Martin Molitor, MMM Designs-Interiors
“Tie ribbon on everything! Thread it through chandeliers or banisters. Or put festive printed fabric in picture frames and scatter them throughout the house.”
– Katie Schroder, Atelier Interior Design
Scour the kitchen cupboards
“Place a set of teacups on a pretty tray, and fill each cup with a succulent or small flower arrangement. Or create a centerpiece by placing candles on a serving tray or cake stand.”
– Gita Jacobson, In The Deets
“Fill a large glass serving bowl – or maybe a punch bowl or trifle bowl – with whatever seasonal item you want. Just use the same thing so it looks purposeful and pretty.”
– Jenn Muirhead, Jennifer Muirhead Interiors
“Take an ordinary flower vase, and stick glass ornaments inside with a string of white lights. It’s a pretty display that’s simple and creative!”
– Wendy Berry, W Design Interiors
Ransack the fridge
“Dried fruit garland is still classic and sweet. Take a needle and thread to some popcorn, cranberries or dried sliced oranges, and string it up wherever you want to!”
– Jenn Muirhead, Jennifer Muirhead Interiors
“Cut up fresh fruit and put it in a pitcher before adding flowers for a centerpiece. Throw in some cloves and cinnamon sticks for added flair. For a dash of festivity, use oranges with cloves in them for place card settings.”
– Christine Estep, Jackson Thomas Interiors
Sift through the closet
“Use a vintage plaid throw as a tablecloth or runner. Or decorate a small tabletop tree with jewelry or ribbon.”
– Katie Schroder, Atelier Interior Design
“Repurpose one of your favorite scarves as a cozy centerpiece runner.”
– Gita Jacobson, In The Deets
Forage in the yard
“Instead of placing a star at the top of my Christmas tree, I’ll take a handful of fallen sticks and tie them together at the top of the tree with a raffia bow. I’ll also layer pine cones throughout my tree to balance out the glass ornaments for an organic, natural feel.
– Wendy Berry, W Design Interiors
“I gather sticks cedar branches, along with magnolia, holly, boxwood and pine. I spread them around the bases of containers or arrange them in colorful tea tins. It’s an easy way to bring in greenery without spending too much money.”
– Susan Jamieson, Bridget Beari Designs
“I love to add a garland of fresh greens around my dining room chandelier and hang ornaments from it. The fresh scent mixed with holiday cooking is wonderful.”
“Scatter some festive items that aren’t necessarily holiday themed. For example, we’ll set out some naturally shed antlers in the fall or a tuxedo hat around Christmas. I’ll mix in a few of these types of things that feel seasonally appropriate but aren’t necessarily traditional holiday decor.”
– Summer Thornton, Summer Thornton Design
“Give a corner of your home a holiday touch with just a handful of tweaks. We made a sitting area more festive by adding new pillows (they needn’t have an overt holiday motif – a wintery look works just as well), some evergreen cuttings from the yard (with a few sprigs of berries), a stack of wrapped gifts, a scarf and bow for our deer, and a teddy bear found in the attic.”
– Chris Stout-Hazard, Roger + Chris
“Gather objects with a similar color scheme. I pull out all of my white and silver anything and group them together – candle holders, vases, pots, ribbon. Then I go to my neighbors’ yards for magnolia and holly cuttings and get laurel out of my own yard. I just keep everything green, white and silver – jumbled together it works.”
– Lesley Glotzl
“Repurpose a metallic vessel into a vase for displaying rich greenery or arrangements of holiday objects. A brass champagne cooler, a bright silver trophy cup or even small copper mugs could work perfectly. Add fresh pops of red with cranberries, pomegranates, deep-red apples or even a few red roses.”
– Kerrie Kelly, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab
You may have dreams of decorating your home like it’s a display window at a fancy department store, but then reality strikes: You’ve still got gift shopping and wrapping to do, holiday parties to attend and host … not to mention your everyday life to live.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Go for intentional minimalism. Some years, less is more.
Simple decor can still have a big impact – not the least of which is relieving you of some holiday hustle and bustle. All you need to do is hone in on sprucing up three key areas in your home.
Target your tree
The most obvious place to start is your Christmas tree. For an easy, fuss-free tree, go with a monochromatic color scheme.
Another option is to use all neutral colors so you don’t have to worry about balancing a color palette or tree placement – it will coordinate with any room’s normal decor.
Make your mantel magical
If you have a fireplace in your home, the mantel is an ideal spot to bring a little holiday cheer, but don’t make it too complicated.
Choose a statement-making garland to hang or drape across the top. Place some candles on the mantel to light at night, and you’re good to go.
Top off your table
The holidays are a prime time for entertaining, hosting and gathering around the table. So bring seasonal flair to your table with a beautiful garland, which can go a long way as a table runner.
Make the decor as simple as placing a lush garland in the center of your table and mixing in candles for added ambiance.
Decorating for the holidays doesn’t have to be a chore. Focus on these three spots, and your home will feel magical and holiday-ready in no time.