Lauren Bacall's longtime New York City residence — in the exclusive Dakota building — is up for grabs… but the potential buyer must pass muster.
Three months after the death of the screen icon, her posh co-op on Manhattan's Upper West Side, overlooking Central Park, has hit the market for $26 million. The To Have and Have Not actress called the apartment home from the 1960s — after the death of her beloved first husband, Humphrey Bogart, and during her second, very tumultuous marriage to Jason Robards — until her passing, as a result of stroke, in August. Amazingly, she paid just $48,000 for the apartment in 1961, according to Yahoo Homes.
Bacall's fourth-floor apartment — which is more than 4,000-square-feet with three bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths — stands out because "she was really diligent about maintaining and keeping the original [pre-war] detail," listing agent Rebecca Edwardson of Warburg Realty told Forbes. She didn't make structural changes, like knocking down walls or changing the original hardwood floors, to modernize it.
Five of the rooms — the three bedrooms, the library, and the great room — look out onto Central Park and boast nearly floor-to-ceiling windows. The library has Juliet balconies and a wood-burning fireplace with hand-carved details. There is also a formal dining room, butler's pantry, and a maid's room.
At the entrance of the unit, which features 13-foot high ceilings throughout, there's an 18-foot-wide foyer and then a 70-foot-long corridor, connecting the rooms — rare features in typically compact New York City apartments.
In 2008, Bacall invited Glenn Close into her home to shoot an interview about her beloved papillon Sophie, to which she allotted $10,000 for the care of in her will. During the segment, viewers were given a rare glimpse at her fancy pad, including the library, which was covered with photos of her illustrious career.
The Dakota is one of NYC's most iconic residences — perhaps best known for being where John Lennon lived and was later murdered. Yoko Ono still calls it home as have many other famous folks, including football star John Madden, Roberta Flack, and Connie Chung and Maury Povich.
The building is even better known for those who were rejected from living there. Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith, Cher, Madonna, Carly Simon, Billy Joel, Alex Rodriguez, Judd Apatow, and Téa Leoni were all denied approval to live in the Dakota by the board.
All potential buyers must submit boxes and boxes of personal financial records, including years worth of tax documents and monetary statements. They also have to shell out thousands for an extensive background check. The worst part? Going through the grueling application process doesn't guarantee the board will accept applicants.
Bacall was a well-known presence in the building and in her neighborhood up until her death, which occurred at home after she suffered a massive stroke. She was sometimes photographed walking Sophie outside the intimidating building, which the New York Times reported she would sometimes do at 11 p.m., just like other city dog owners. She'd confidently stroll through Central Park with the pooch, passing through Strawberry Fields, the tribute to Lennon.
The movie star also frequented the bank down the street and visited her grandchildren on relative's day at their nearby schools. On Halloween, she welcomed trick-or-treaters at her apartment door. Jennifer LeRoy, who grew up in the Dakota and whose family owned Tavern on the Green, talked about that funny experience.
“I don’t think I got any candy; I think I just got fashion advice," LeRoy told the newspaper. "I remember I was dressed as a vampire” with a couple of friends at the age of 12 or 13. "She was like, 'You all need to put on red lipstick,' and we did."
Whoever buys Bacall's apartment will have big — and stylish! —shoes to fill.