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View to Central Park from Museum Tower's recently-listed penthouse (All photos via Sotheby's International) View to Central Park from Museum Tower's recently-listed penthouse (All photos via Sotheby's International)
The sleek, 55-story Museum Tower could be thought of the 53W53 of the 1980s. Overlooking MoMA's serene sculpture garden on 54th Street, the elegant mid-block tower was one of the city's most anticipated projects of its time and among the tallest condominium buildings in the world upon completion. Conceived with elegant proportions and a distinctive, Mondrianesque curtain wall composed of 14 different colors, the building was designed by the late award-winning architect Cesar Pelli, whose firm was behind the World Financial Center and its iconic Winter Garden.
According to MoMA, which commissioned the project on its ever-transitioning grounds, Pelli held great respect for the sculpture garden and sought to create a tower and addition to the museum that would complement the tranquil space. Pelli stated, “The Garden, I must say, was one of the key elements, and for me, it was very important to preserve its vitality and its character as much as possible. The Garden is one of the jewels of the Museum...Therefore, putting the Tower where it would impact the Garden the least was essential.”
Museum Tower Museum Tower (Images via Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects)
Museum of Modern Art Cesar Pelli's cascading MoMA addition that was later redesigned by Taniguchi
Thirty-five years later, Museum Tower maintains its prestige as an exceptional white-glove building with extraordinary views, even in spite of the recent crop of loftier, more amenity-laden towers that have taken hold around it. While much of the building is composed of relatively small one- and two-bedrooms, its crème de la crème residence is a two-floor, 14,000-square-foot penthouse that could go toe-to-toe with any of the new spreads on Billionaires' Row. The home's most notable features include 52 feet of Central Park exposures, three limestone-clad terraces, eight wood-burning fireplaces, and seven bedrooms each with their own en-suite baths. Take a tour of the spectacular trophy residence below.

↑ A 75-foot long gallery features a patterned floor of the same limestone specified by I.M. Pei for the Louvre Pyramid. It opens onto three reception rooms.

↑ While the decor is not included in the $35 million listing price, the eight fireplaces, beautiful wood floors, and classical detailing are.

↑ While the Jean Nouvel-designed 53W53 impedes some views to the west, Central Park is still front and center (for now).

↑ Views of NYC's greatest engineering and architectural marvels such as the Solow Building, Crown Building, the Sherry-Netherland, and 111 West 57th Street.

↑ A kitchen actually invites cooking, not polishing.

↑ A second kitchen services the dining room.

↑ Take a second to make sense of the floor plans.

↑ A centerpiece of the home is a wrought-iron and bronze semi-circular interior staircase, inspired by one found in an eighteenth-century Parisian hotel.

↑ A secondary staircase allows easy access between the living spaces and library.

↑ Yes, you are allowed to have a wood-paneled library, dentil crown molding, and pink furnishings in a Modernist skyscraper. Just don't tell the architect.

↑ The city comes alive at night. Take in views of the 21st century's monuments of capitalism and Central Park, one of the greatest public works achievements of the 19th century.

↑ Sometimes the views are better in the thick of it. With Fifth Avenue at your feet, notable icons in this view east include Phillip Johnson's AT&T Building (550 Madison), 432 Park Avenue, Norman Foster's 425 Park Avenue, and the former Citicorp Center (still awaiting its solar panels, apparently).

↑ One can reflect on the fun of the 80's and 90's with this mirrored ceiling in the master bedroom.

↑ There are two master baths. They may save your marriage and billions of dollars.

↑ Many of the home's seven bedrooms are larger than the typical NYC studio apartment. Each one has an en suite bath.

The Museum Tower's amenities include a full-time doorman, concierge, valets and elevator attendants, a fitness center with a sauna, a steam room, and a meditation room, a screening room, a business conference room, a wine storage room, a landscaped roof terrace, and housekeeping/laundry services. The Theater District, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and of the Museum of Modern Art are all close by.
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