Since Larry Gagosian purchased 4 East 75th Street for $36.5 million back in August 2011, the 50-foot-wide megamansion pretty much fell off our radar. The place smashed records when it sold for $53 million in 2006, and the owner, J. Christopher Flowers promptly embarked on a $4 million interior demolition to prep the place for a renovation. He gutted the place and demolished the foundation, and apparently that's the state he sold it in. According to DOB permits, Gagosian has been working on the house nonstop since he bought it, and that landmarked limestone facade has evidently been hiding quite a lot. The above photo, shot by a covert tipster, shows the site last October, and as you can see, it was barely more than a hole in the ground.
Our tipster writes: "I took that photo back in early October hoping to get a better shot but no luck. They seem very secretive and don't want any one to take photographs. The photo was taken from the front door of the limestone facade, the only accessible view point which they keep closed at all times. It's a total demolition with only the limestone facade remaining. I thought they would excavate a new sub-level but they only went down as far as you see, which is the existing basement level. This week they started installing the steel framing."
The last demolition permits to be issued for the house were back in 2009, when Flowers owned the place, which means that if it still looked like that last October, Gagosian paid $36.5 million for a construction project (makes the $19 million sale of the backless townhouse seem less insane). Currently, there are permits issued for structural/foundation and excavation work, including shoring and underpinning (aka reinforcing and strengthening) the foundation, plus mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work. The permits call for creating a single family townhouse with residential use in the cellar, and none other than Annabelle Selldorf is listed as the architect of record. The finished product seems to be a long way off, but we'd still like an invitation when it's done.
· 4 East 75th Street [DOB]
· 4 East 75th Street coverage [Curbed]