The Most Expensive Real Estate in New York
Bacall passed away in 2015, a month shy of her 90th birthday, leaving behind an amazing Central Park apartment. When the home hit the market, insiders and fans finally got an inside look of the apartment Lauren called home. The apartments surrounding Central Park are some of New York City’s most expensive properties. Lauren had the luxury of calling one of these mansions home for 53 years! Following her death, the apartment went up for auction at the price of $26 million!
A Nine-Room Estate
The flat is located in the historical Dakota building on the Upper West Side. The large nine-room apartment doesn’t feel like an apartment at all, rather an entire house placed inside of the gorgeous architecture of the Dakota Building. As you would expect from a Hollywood star, the master bedroom is 22 feet wide and is connected to a private study, bathroom, and walk-in closet. The apartment’s balcony overlooks Central Park, so you can just imagine what springtime is like in the estate, a total dream!
Rustic Red and Royal Blues
Of course, the kitchen is far beyond your average New York City kitchen. It is an eat-in kitchen that opens up into a 24 by 19-foot dining room and family room. Lauren’s dining room brings French elements together with a perfect color palette, both rustic reds and deep blues are found in the small details of the upholstery, furniture, and, the art featured in the room. The wall hanging may seem like a simple poster, but it is The Bell Époque French by Jules Cheret, sold for a whopping $7,000.
The actress and singer was a fan of French-inspired design, a preference that is evident in her furniture choices. In addition to the poster hanging in her dining room, Bacall had several other French posters hanging on the room’s other walls. She complemented the posters with fine collectible china that she hung next to the framed posters. The decorative lamps are pieces are scattered throughout the rooms of her home.
An 18th Century Piece
It’s no secret that Lauren was partial to French design, but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t admire art from other countries and periods as well. One of the more important items in her home was her antique George III oak Welsh dresser, from the late 18th century, a piece that held her collection of fine china. Though George III style furniture typically uses mahogany, the dresser was made from oak – a unique choice for pieces from that time.
The Master Bedroom
It seems as though Bacall saved the pop of color for her own bedroom. Considering most of the rooms in the estate are blue, brown, and white, it’s surprising that Bacall chose lavender and pink tones for her own room – colors that aren’t seen anywhere else in her apartment. Other than the gallery wall behind the bed, the room has a clear view of Central Park. Imagine opening your morning to a panoramic view of the green and beautiful Central Park!
The Master Suite
As you may have already noticed, Bacall liked to fill every inch of a room with collectibles, furniture, and art. Surprisingly enough, the master suite is the only room where something new is placed. Adjacent to her decked out fireplace, there appears to be a very modern-looking tongue. The grey couch adds a cozy touch to this room, and behind it, you’ll see a bookcase full of books and collectibles. We would give anything to relax with some reading while enjoying this fireplace!
To the right side of the fireplace of the master suite, there is the perfect display of Bacall’s collection of decorative candlesticks and artwork. The theme of these framed portraits is ships and floral designs. Bacall loved using accents of color. The walls of the apartment are 13 feet high, so it makes sense that Bacall would want to fill the space with art. The apartment was catered to an art collector seeing as there’s a lot of art that seems synonymous with the house’s existence.
The Guest Bedroom
Another interesting, yet the unsurprising choice of color, Lauren chose bright and sunny, yellow walls. Above the bed hangs a very pricey 1920s Spanish art piece. The piece, which depicts a woman holding a basket full of fruit, was painted by Andrew Segovia and sold for a staggering $18,750 at auction. Though the walls are a cheerful shade of yellow, the bedspread and rug are a shade of sky blue. In the right corner of the room, you will notice a unique, shelving piece that adds an interesting touch to the room’s style.
Palettes of Blue
Even when the styling of a room was formal. Bacall knew how to paint a room the perfect shade to add that extra chic touch. She chose to paint the living room a gorgeous shade of robin’s egg blue — which brightens up the entire room and works with the room’s natural light. The collection of blue accents tie the room together, everything from statutes on the fireplace to her gorgeous couches.
Her Baby Grand-Piano
And of course, what’s a luxurious New York apartment without a grand piano? Bacall’s piano is by Mason & Hamlin, a premier New England based piano company that was founded in 1854. The piano sold for $6,875 through the original value was likely much more. Although we’re sure it sounded great, it doesn’t seem like Lauren was playing much in her old age. The piano became more of a display table for her old family photos.
Perfectly Accented Couches
These comfortable couches were chosen to accent her living room’s wall color. Patterned furniture is often hard to pull off, but these really pull the room together. The white contrasts the dark wood of the fireplace and coffee table perfectly. Bacall’s apartment holds five working fireplaces, a rare occurrence, especially in a New York City property. This living room fireplace is accented with a deer head above its mantle – a nod to her love of wildlife.
French Style Mirrors & Antique Dressers
Each one of Bacall’s apartment’s rooms is massive, allowing her to hold an impressive collection of antique furniture. This room features an ornate French-style mirror that rests on a Regence Provincial Walnut Commode, a mid-18th-century piece that sold for nearly four thousand dollars. The room also has an antique desk that was sold for $5,000. The Louis XV provincial bureau was crafted from walnut in the mid-to-late18th century and complimented the room’s wooden floors.
Her Private Gallery
Bacall lived in her great apartment from when she was about 36 years old until she was 89. Her life’s story is documented throughout the apartment – though art and antiques. Her home is a gallery, full of beauty and character. The perfectly curated art in her house looks like somewhat of a museum. Every inch of wall space is covered in framed art, from expensive paintings and photographs to simple prints.
American White Pelican
Her furniture was worth a fortune but what was even more intriguing was the value of Bacall’s art. This original print of American White Pelican by James Audubon sold for $173,000. Audubon gravitated towards painting birds in their natural habitats, and this print truly showcases his talent. The artist is most widely known for his color-plate book called The Birds of America, which is one of the first ornithological works ever published. Throughout his life, Audubon identified 25 new species of birds!
Louis XIII Walnut Fauteuils
What is the most you would ever spend on a pair of chairs? Even if you were one of the world’s most avid furniture connoisseurs, you would probably not spend as much as Lauren Bacall did. Her antique Louis XIII-style chairs were in excellent condition, and they made a great addition to her already beautifully styled home. The chairs sold for $1,875 and featured veneer turned wood and moldings. The blue stitching on the upholstery was brought out nicely against her blue walls.
Vintage Louis Vuitton Luggage
Every celeb has their selection of Louis Vuitton luggage. The company was founded in 1854 and has become one of the world’s most luxurious designer names. With Bacall’s timeless taste, it comes as no surprise that she had a set of monogrammed Louis Vuitton luggage. A single bag can cost nearly two grand, and considering Bacall’s is vintage, it’s exceedingly rare and costly. Her collection of designer luggage was sold for a whopping $37,500!
Betty Joan Perske
Although it may seem like her apartment is filled with art and furniture, it also has pieces of Hollywood history. But of course, she owned her personal director’s chair that was sold for nearly five grand in the auction. Betty Joan Perske who changed her name to Lauren Bacall, debuted in To Have and Have Not — and started her legacy in Hollywood. She’s done it all, from working alongside Marilyn Monroe to acting as a voice in Family Guy — Bacall loved the industry.
Lauren had an eye for amazing works of art after she passed, three bronze sculptures were auctioned off at more than $30,000. The sculptures were created by Robert Graham, who was famous for his design of the entrance gates for the 1984 Olympics. Bacall and Graham met through actress Anjelica Houston – Bacall’s close friend and Graham’s wife. Bacall fell in love with his portrayal of the female form. The art remained in Lauren’s foyer for years, and she loved referring to them as “her girls.”
Her Favorite Pieces
Towards the end of her life, Lauren Bacall sat down with Vanity Fair as she discussed her outstanding career and how her New York apartment had become a map of memories of times passed. In what would, unfortunately, turn into one of her last interviews, Lauren opened up about her numerous pieces in her home, made by renowned artists, painters, and sculptors. Among her collection were works by John James Audubon, Max Ernst, David Hockney, Henry Moore, and many more.
Cozy Wood Furnishings
One of the themes we’ve seen throughout all nine rooms has been unique wood furniture. Every piece looks like it was specially picked out for the room it was placed in. Many may think that the interior of such a big star’s apartment would be flashy and glamorous – but there is something about Bacall’s apartment that is homey and cozy. The apartment looks like a place that has been lived in, Bacall managed to make it a home rather than a stage to be admired from afar.
Her Views of Central Park
New York City real estate prices increase drastically if you have a view – and few landscapes are more desired than that of Central Park. Bacall’s apartment has approximately 100 feet of Central Park scenery. This means that half of the apartment has one of the best views in all of New York City — an essential part of Lauren’s connection to New York. In a 1978 issue of French Vogue, Bacall said, “Outside that window lies Central Park; my relief from the city, an important reason to live there.”
The exterior of The Dakota building stood tall on the corner of Central Park West and West 72nd Street. As the city progresses, the building stands tall, holding its history. Overlooking Central Park, it’s safe to say that the preserved building may be one of the most beautiful things about New York City — full of history and the essence of possibilities that come with the city. Over the years, the value of the building has gone up drastically, and it’s easy to understand why!
On August 12, 2014, Lauren Bacall passed away after suffering a stroke. Just five weeks shy of her 90th birthday, the legend passed away at her Dakota apartment where she lived for more than 50 years. When word of her death spread, fans decorated the iron gate outside of Bacall’s apartment with roses, paying their respects. Over the weeks following her passing, fans from all over the world visited her apartment building, showing their appreciation to one of the Golden Age’s biggest actresses.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
After her passing in 2014, fans decorated her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with flowers, stuffed animals, and other various items that reminded them of Bacall. In 1960, actress Lauren Bacall was honored with a star that can be visited on 1724 Vine Street. The grieving fans were added to hear the news of her passing and made their way to the star to honor one of Hollywood’s last Golden Era actresses.
Vanity Fair Interview
One of the last interviews Lauren ever gave was from her Dakota apartment. She was interviewed in 2011 by Matt Trynauer for Vanity Fair. The actress did not hold back in the interview revealing intimate details of her life, as one of the last-remaining actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Era. In her heartfelt and honest interview, she spoke candidly about the effect of husband, Humphrey Bogart’s fame had on their relationship and children. In addition to talking about her marriage and career, she spoke openly about secrets from her personal life.
Whirlwind Romance With Frank Sinatra
During the interview, Bacall revealed that after her husband passed away, she quickly jumped into a relationship with the famous actor and singer-songwriter, Frank Sinatra. They had what you could call a whirlwind romance to the point that Sinatra proposed. However, when rumors of the engagement were leaked to the media, Sinatra became distressed and called off the engagement altogether. According to Bacall herself, it was “an awful time for me, there’s no way I could have been thinking straight. Even then it might have worked if Frank had been more sure of himself…but he wasn’t.”
Marriage to Jason Robards
Following her short-lived relationship with Sinatra, Bacall met and began dating actor Jason Robards. When they tried to get married in July of ’61, the two of them faced a ton of issues due to Robards’ “quickie” divorce in which the actor signed an affidavit stating he was officially divorced from his former wife on May 22nd, 1961. After traveling to Austria and getting denied a marriage license, Bacall and Robards set out to Las Vegas only for the same thing to happen again. Finally, the couple was able to marry after traveling to Mexico though they divorced eight years and one child later.
When Lauren Bacall married Humphrey Bogart in ’45, she was only 19 years old while he was 45 — 26 years her senior! Naturally, this age gap caused many to wonder what these two could possibly have in common. Well, for starters, they both had an obsession with dogs being that they both had grown up with a variety of pups. Bacall and Bogart actually received a Boxer as a wedding gift and it’s safe to say that the two of them fell in love with that breed of dog.
According to the actress herself, she and Bogart named their new pup “Harvey, after the invisible rabbit. He was really smart. He knew he wasn’t allowed to get on the furniture so he would only put two paws on at a time, and he would sit between us if we had a fight.” It wasn’t long before Lauren and Bogart had three Boxer dogs. Here in this photo, Lauren’s relaxing as Bogart and son Stephen read a magazine on the floor. Harvey, George, and Baby — their three dogs — lay together.
Pampered Papillion, Sophie
Although Bogart and Bacall shared three boxers together, the actress ended up adopting a Cocker Spaniel after her husband passed away. Just six months after that, their beloved Boxer — Harvey — passed. Bacall’s last dog, though, was a pampered Papillion pup named Sophie. Bacall absolutely worshipped Sophie so much so that she left $10,000 to her canine companion. The money went to Bacall’s youngest son, Sam Robards, to ensure that the beloved pup continues to live in the manner she’s accustomed to. Don’t worry, though. The star also split up her $26 million estate between her three children.
Bonhams’ Highest-Profile Auction
In March of 2015, the Bonhams New York auction hall held a two-day, 20-hour marathon auction for Lauren Bacall’s belongings. More than 1,500 bidders from 34 different countries took part in Bonhams’ the highest-profile auction of the season. A few days prior to the auction, however, photographers and videographers began documenting everything that filled her glorious apartment. Anyone who was actually lucky enough to purchase one of Bacall’s possessions was undoubtedly happy to have a piece of history.
There’s no denying that Bacall had quite a fruitful career in her own right. Still, tons of people gravitated towards her projects with her late husband Humphrey Bogart. With that being said, it doesn’t come as such a shock that amongst Bacall’s eclectic art collection was this statue of ‘Bogie.’ The bronze statue depicts Bogart as Rick Blaine from Casablanca, which was released in 1942. This sculpture was just one of the many pieces that was auctioned off after Bacall’s passing. Although it sold for an undisclosed amount, it was valued at $800.
Aaron Shikler Portraits
It’s really no secret that actress Lauren Becall loved art. After all, the actress was a cultivated collector of art and antiques, her pursuits often sparked by personal experiences. In any event, this piece — made by artist Aaron Shikler — was inspired by Bacall herself. Shikler, who was famously known for his official White House portraits of John F. Kennedy and Jackie-O, was also popular amongst many elite social groups. With that being said, he also often did portraits of celebrities. Shikler even did portraits of Bacall’s children but they kept those for their personal collections.
It comes as no surprise that Bacall’s collection of vintage housewares weren’t sold at very cheap prices. While it was clearly in used condition, Bacall’s Turkish carpet was still sold at the auction for $2,250. Despite its name, there’s actually no one culture that can claim these carpets. In turns out that they actually derived from the multi-ethnic, multi-religious traditions of the former Ottoman Empire. With that, it makes sense as to why these carpets have been found everywhere from Siberia to Egypt to Transylvania.
Massive Jewelry Collection
Bonhams New York auction hall was responsible for Bacall’s estate after her death, which included the actress’s massive jewelry collection. There were reportedly 32 lots of jewelry alone that was put up for bid at the auction, drawing the interest from people around the globe. As mentioned before, the auction lasted a record-breaking 20 hours and brought in a whopping $503,625 for the jewelry alone. While Bacall’s jewel collection did garner more than the estimated value, Susan Abeles — Bonham director of jewelry — stated that “the estimates were regular market values. It’s impossible to calculate the value of provenance.”
18-Karat Gold Ear Clips
One of the most valuable and desired pieces from Bacall’s jewel collection was a pair of gem-set, 18-karat gold ear clips. Designed by Montures Schlumberger in France, each ear clip was specially designed as a gold latticework plaque. They were emblazoned with emeralds, sapphires, and amethysts. The award-winning actress famously wore these ear clips the night she accepted an Oscar for her performance in The Mirror Has Two Faces. Although the clips were estimated at $12,000, they were ultimately sold for $52,500.
Personalized Tiffany’s Necklace
Aside from her bedazzled ear clips, Bacall also owned a personalized Tiffany’s necklace. When auctioneers first found the piece, they noticed individual letters engraved on each of the hearts. Since they couldn’t figure out what the necklace said, they handed it over to Bonham’s jewelry department who cracked the code — “To my own beautiful star from her proud director Ron.” While it hasn’t been confirmed, it’s believed that the necklace was a gift from Ron Field, Bacall’s director in the 1970 musical Applause. Although the necklace was estimated to sell for $9,000, it was eventually sold for over $52,5000.
Her Style Was Her Own
Perhaps one of the most breathtaking pieces of jewelry that Bacall owned was a bracelet made by French designer Jean Schlumberger. Not only is it made from 18 karats of gold but it also features a series of blue paillone enamel panels with polished gold bar detail. Just from looking at Bacall’s collection, it’s clear that the actress had an amazing sense of style. According to Susan Abeles, “Ms. Bacall’s style was unmistakably her own — and it continues to influence design and fashion to this day.”
Lauren Bacall’s apartment in The Dakota was absolutely magnificent but she was hardly the first celeb to reside there. Aunt to Hollywood’s silver fox George Clooney, Rosemary Clooney was a singer and actress. Although she first gained recognition during the ’50s with hits like “Come On-a My House” and “Mambo Italiano,” the singer’s career began to later around the 1960s. In 1977, though, Clooney made a comeback when her White Christmas co-star Bing Crosby asked her to accompany him to a show that was meant to mark his 50th anniversary in show business.
Judy Garland was yet another major star that lived in The Dakota at one point. Garland’s former 19th-century home at The Dakota has seven wood-burning fireplaces and is on the market for $16.75 million. The 4,7000 square foot-apartment features three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, 13-foot ceilings, and generously spacious rooms that flawlessly flow from one to the other. Not only does it include a formal dining room that overlooks the building’s central courtyard but the apartment also has a library and an elegant living room with French doors.
It’s really no secret that one of the most well-known residents of the building was legendary singer-songwriter John Lennon. Regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all time, Lennon was actually living at The Dakota at the time of his tragic death. In December of 1980, the activist and co-founder of the Beatles was killed in the archway of the building by Mark David Chapman. Since then, The Dakota has become a tourist attraction for people to come and pay their respects to the memory of John Lennon.
Maury Povich, now 81 years old, is a TV personality who’s best known for his tabloid talk show Maury. His career began when he initially became a radio reporter for WWDC. By the late ’80s, though, he gained national fame as the host of tabloid infotainment television show A Current Affair. In 1991, Povich co-produced The Maury Povich Show, which was later rebranded as Maury. Today, he resides in The Dakota with his wife, Connie Chung who’s a television news anchor.
Gilda Radner was an American comedian and actress best known as one of the seven original cast members — “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” — of the hit NBC sketch comedy Saturday Night Live. In 1979, Radner moved to The Dakota and paid $150,000 for her apartment although she only lived there until 1985. A few years later, in 1989, the award-winning actress passed away from ovarian cancer. Still, there’s no denying that her memory has continued to live on throughout the years.
John Madden, now 84 years old, is a former sportscaster and football coach for the NFL. In 1977, Madden won a Superbowl as coach of the Oakland Raiders and was later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Once he retired from coaching, Madden moved on to commentating for NFL telecasts. With that kind of career, there’s no denying that Madden’s rolling in the dough so it makes sense as to why he bought Gilda Radner’s Dakota apartment in 1985. Although he bought it for $625,000, Madden ultimately sold it in 2013 for $3.9 million.