Here’s one for size obsessives. In Sunday’s Big Deal column in the Times, Josh Barbanel reveals that the empty 740 Park C-line apartment long owned by the late Randolph and June Speight is about to come on the market at $35 million, creating an opportunity to combine it with the just-listed-at-$38 million Peter Huang D-line apartment next door, and make a $73 million superstar, the most expensive co-op flat in New York. Barbanel wonders if the co-op board would approve, but in fact, they’ve allowed just such a C&D monster before —slightly smaller, but complete with set-back terraces: Courtney Sale Ross‘s double-wide duplex on the 12th and 13th floors of the same building. Those two apartments were bought and combined by her late husband, Time-Warner kingpin Steve Ross, to give his third wife the largest apartment in the building (though she claimed she really wanted something smaller). According to neighbors, Ross’s 32-room spread usually sits empty, as she spends most of her time in East Hampton. Oh, to be her big-house-sitter!
ADDENDA: Vanity Fair’s Paul Goldberger calls 740 “the noblest of all” New York apartment buildings here, in an article about 15 Central Park West. An owner he spoke with “was less than thrilled when she discovered that the walls are made of plasterboard, which was most definitely not the way the walls were made at 740 Park,” Goldberger writes. Too bad that resident didn’t read my interview with architect Robert A.M. Stern in Bergdorf Goodman Magazine back in 2005… I reprised his comments on the relative merits of the two buildings in my review of 15 CPW the New York Observer last summer: “I asked him if the building would be as good in every way — i.e. down to the concrete and pipes — as its roaring 20s forebears. ‘I’m not going to answer that,’ he said. ‘We’re trying to build very well. I would say that aspects of our building are comparable.’”