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For $50M, a lavish spread in one of Fifth Avenue’s most exclusive co-ops

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The full-floor apartment at 820 Fifth Avenue has been owned by the same family for decades

Courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens

There are just 12 apartments located within 820 Fifth Avenue, one of the toniest co-op buildings on the Upper East Side, and those units—owned, at one point or another, by the likes of socialite Lily Safra, billionaire hedge funder Ken Griffin, and Gov. Alfred E. Smith—rarely change hands.

But one of the apartments, on the building’s third floor, has just hit the market with an appropriately eye-popping price tag: The six-bedroom spread is asking $50 million.

For more than 60 years, it was owned by Charles Wrightsman, an oil tycoon, and his wife Jayne. (He died in 1986, and she earlier this year.) The couple bought the apartment in the 1950s and spent the next several decades using it as a hub for their philanthropic activities; according to the New York Times, which first reported on the listing, Jayne “held court over the years with various socialites, aristocrats, politicians and museum curators who attended her elegant soirees.” (One of her the biggest benefactors of her largesse is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was bequeathed hundreds of artworks and $80 million after Jayne’s death this spring.)

The apartment itself is truly a blue-chip Upper East Side property: There are 18 rooms total, with seven bathrooms, a library, two kitchens, and a separate section of the space for staff. The listing boasts of the apartment’s “100 feet of frontage facing Central Park” (it takes up the entire third floor, so that’s not a surprise) and the extremely fancy finishes, including marble mantles, wood-burning fireplaces, decorative wall coverings, and more.

But as you might expect with such an exclusive (and expensive) properties, the barriers to entry here are high: The building’s co-op board is notoriously picky and doesn’t allow financing for purchases; as the Times puts it, buyers “will need to have deep cash reserves, not to mention unimpeachable credentials.”

The third floor of 820 Fifth Avenue is listed with John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens.