Aside from just the raw interest in the potential for so much contiguous square footage becoming available at a prime Fifth Avenue address, two things stand out as fascinating about Huguette Clark's apartments at 907 Fifth Avenue: her decades-long absence from the building and the dolls who lived there in her stead. Fueling interest is the mystery about what lies within those apartments' many walls and behind its doors. Clark died last year at the age of 104, without children and without having stepped foot inside the New York apartments she inherited from her mother in decades. Housekeepers maintained the residences as if she were about to, however, and her doll collection appraised at millions of dollars remained as a silent unnecessary welcoming committee. Now that the apartments are on the market, some details are trickling out about what the insides were like, despite a relatively tight lid on information released to the public.
Perhaps most disappointing is news that Huguette's extensive collection of dolls and dollhouses are gone. They have been removed and are being stored in a secure, climate controlled facility more appropriate for a collection that may be worth anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. For a place she had not lived in for decades, the apartments at 907 Fifth Avenue were filled with Clark's personal touches, including some wall paintings of dolls reportedly done by the late heiress herself. Most of these details have been stripped out in preparation for sale and an inevitable renovation.
While herringbone-patterned wood floors and oak-panelled walls are luxurious details, other things like pre-war kitchen appliances, color schemes from the 1960s, and outdated wiring are less desirable anachronisms in apartments valued at tens of millions of dollars. Recent visitors have described the three apartments as having distinct decors and personalities, with 8W being the most livable and the top-floor's 12W being the most lavish, according to the Times.
We know that realtors can be skittish about releasing photos of a work-in-progress before completion, but we do hope that someone is at least documenting the transformation of Clark's apartments from a metropolitan mystery mansion to one more super-luxe property.