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740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building

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740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For seventy-five years, it’s been Manhattan’s richest apartment building, and one of the most lusted-after addresses in the world. One apartment had 37 rooms, 14 bathrooms, 43 closets, 11 working fireplaces, a private elevator, and his-and-hers saunas; another at one time had a live-in service staff of 16. To this day, it is steeped in the purest luxury, the kind most of us could only imagine, until now.

The last great building to go up along New York’s Gold Coast, construction on 740 Park finished in 1930. Since then, 740 has been home to an ever-evolving cadre of our wealthiest and most powerful families, some of America’s (and the world’s) oldest money—the kind attached to names like Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Bouvier, Chrysler, Niarchos, Houghton, and Harkness—and some whose names evoke the excesses of today’s monied elite: Kravis, Koch, Bronfman, Perelman, Steinberg, and Schwarzman. All along, the building has housed titans of industry, political power brokers, international royalty, fabulous scam-artists, and even the lowest scoundrels.

The book begins with the tumultuous story of the building’s construction. Conceived in the bubbling financial, artistic, and social cauldron of 1920’s Manhattan, 740 Park rose to its dizzying heights as the stock market plunged in 1929—the building was in dire financial straits before the first apartments were sold. The builders include the architectural genius Rosario Candela, the scheming businessman James T. Lee (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s grandfather), and a raft of financiers, many of whom were little more than white-collar crooks and grand-scale hustlers.

Once finished, 740 became a magnet for the richest, oldest families in the country: the Brewsters, descendents of the leader of the Plymouth Colony; the socially-registered Bordens, Hoppins, Scovilles, Thornes, and Schermerhorns; and top executives of the Chase Bank, American Express, and U.S. Rubber. Outside the walls of 740 Park, these were the people shaping America culturally and economically. Within those walls, they were indulging in all of the Seven Deadly Sins.

As the social climate evolved throughout the last century, so did 740 Park: after World War II, the building’s rulers eased their more restrictive policies and began allowing Jews (though not to this day African Americans) to reside within their hallowed walls. Nowadays, it is full to bursting with new money, people whose fortunes, though freshly-made, are large enough to buy their way in.

At its core this book is a social history of the American rich, and how the locus of power and influence has shifted haltingly from old bloodlines to new money. But it’s also much more than that: filled with meaty, startling, often tragic stories of the people who lived behind 740’s walls, the book gives us an unprecedented access to worlds of wealth, privilege, and extraordinary folly that are usually hidden behind a scrim of money and influence. This is, truly, how the other half—or at least the other one hundredth of one percent—lives.

Synopsis:

Provides a close-up look at one of the world's most coveted addresses, the apartment building at seventy-four Park Avenue that was constructed by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's grandfather and has housed the Bouviers, Rockefellers, Saul Steinberg, Ronald O. Perelman, and other legendary icons. 60,000 first printing.

Synopsis:

MICHAEL GROSS has written for Esquire, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and countless other publications. Currently a contributing editor at Travel & Leisure, he is also the author of Genuine Authentic and the New York Times bestselling Model. He lives in New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307418760
Subtitle:
The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Author:
Gross Michael
Author:
Gross, Michael
Subject:
Social Science : Sociology - Urban
Subject:
Sociology - Urban
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Subject:
History
Subject:
Business-Business Profiles
Subject:
Sociology-Urban Studies
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : Rich & Famous
Subject:
Architecture : History - General
Subject:
Americana -- New York
Subject:
World History-General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20051018
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
561

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » History » General
Biography » Rich and Famous
Business » Real Estate
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Travel » North America » United States » Mid Atlantic States

740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building
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Product details 561 pages Broadway Books - English 9780307418760 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Provides a close-up look at one of the world's most coveted addresses, the apartment building at seventy-four Park Avenue that was constructed by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's grandfather and has housed the Bouviers, Rockefellers, Saul Steinberg, Ronald O. Perelman, and other legendary icons. 60,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , MICHAEL GROSS has written for Esquire, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and countless other publications. Currently a contributing editor at Travel & Leisure, he is also the author of Genuine Authentic and the New York Times bestselling Model. He lives in New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

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