Speaking of Vuitton, here's a fixer-upper at the landmark Osborne, one of the city's first luxury co-ops. The massive Romanesque and Renaissance-palazzo-style pile was designed by James E. Ware in 1885 and sports massive, and massively eccentric, apartment layouts accessorized with lavish mahogany woodwork, bronze mantels and parquet floors and a Tiffany Studios-designed lobby laden with mosaics, multi-colored marble, gold leafing and murals. Along with famous past and present residents like Leonard Bernstein, Bobby Short, Leo Lerman, Van Cliburn, Harold Clurman, Lynn Redgrave, Fernando Sanchez, Robert Osborne, Charles Osgood and Fran Lebowitz, The Osborne was home to Maria Watts, a Hungarian pianist, and her son Andre, a child piano prodigy whose performances electrified music lovers. The Watts family entered the Osborne as renters, but after Andre filled in for Glenn Gould with the New York Philharmonic at age 16 in 1963, won a standing ovation from the orchestra as well as the audience, and launched his long career in classical music, his mother bought apartment 5A from Julian Levi, the architect who'd designed the building's 1910 extension.
The seven-room apartment boasts southern and eastern exposures, a 17-foot paneled entry hall, a 34-foot-long ballroom-sized living room with a wood burning fireplace, a formal dining room with original mahogany wainscoting, a crystal chandelier and a buried fireplace, many Tiffany-stained-glass windows, a pantry and a big eat-in kitchen. There's also a library, two bedrooms and a maid's room. Maintenance is high at $4,722 a month, but splendor like this doesn't come cheap.
Listing: The Osborne [Wald]