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Quirky Midtown co-op where Jacob K. Javits once lived hits the market for $5.2M

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The former senator and convention center namesake lived here in the ’70s and ’80s

Photos courtesy Stribling/David Paler

When you picture a politician’s home, an quirky apartment with a glass-enclosed sitting room and eclectic decorative touches (like a staircase with lucite detailing) may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But that’s exactly what you’ll find in the former home of legendary New York politician Jacob K. Javits, the onetime Senator and state attorney general who lent his name to the convention center on Manhattan’s west side.

The three-bedroom, three-bathroom duplex that Javits and his wife Marion shared until his death in 1986 just hit the market, asking $5.2 million. The couple moved into the apartment, located at 322 East 57th Street, in the 1970s; according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the sale, they downsized from a larger Park Avenue apartment once their children were grown.

Per the listing, the apartment was originally designed by Austrian architect Joseph Urban, which may explain its eclectic look. Urban was known for his theatricality—he created set pieces for the Metrpolitan Opera and the Ziegfeld Follies, among others—and this particular space has that in spades, what with the double-height ceilings, original Art Deco fireplace, and that unusual glass sitting room. (According to the couple’s daughter, Joy, Javits used to take meetings in the space—how ironic that what’s essentially a giant glass box would later be named for him.)

The apartment is spread across 3,000 square feet over the building’s 12th and 13th floors, and comes with a master bedroom with two walk-in closets, an eat-in kitchen and formal dining room, and a gallery just off the entryway. Maintenance fees are a whopping $10,000/month.