Zillow – New York’s Joan Rivers Lived There In Style
By Laura Vecsey
The death of Joan Rivers on Sept. 4 sent a shockwave through the entertainment world, especially in New York where the comedian lived in an opulent Upper East Side apartment.
Rivers’ only daughter, Melissa, had been staying in the 25,000-square-foot penthouse after hastily flying in from California to attend to her 81-year-old mother, who suffered cardiac arrest during a procedure in a New York doctor’s office just hours after performing standup at a Manhattan club.
Rivers had tried several times to sell the one-of-a-kind apartment, which had been featured in episodes of Rivers’ reality TV show, Joan & Melissa. The most recent attempt was in 2012, when the list price was $29.5 million.
Constructed in 1910, the limestone mansion was built for John R. Drexel and his socialite wife Alice Troth Drexel. It’s the work of Horace Trumbauer, an architect well known for his classical revivalist aesthetic. The home was converted in the 1930s into apartments. According to previous listing information, one of the apartments in the building was home to Ernest Hemingway for many years.
Rivers first listed the luxury penthouse on the Manhattan real estate market in May 2009, when she planned to move out to the West Coast to be closer to her daughter.
In August 2009, the home was still on the market when former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi called her broker, offering to rent it for $200,000 a week — a notion Rivers’ considered under two conditions, saying at the time, “I thought it was great. I said I would give half the rent to Lockerbie (and the other half) to have an exterminator come and clean the apartment when he was done.”
The snarky Rivers may have had many detractors, but she kicked open the doors for new generations of women comedians.