Rental Scene: A Museum Mile Masterpiece with a Celebrity Connection

The term “picture perfect” has been a staple of real estate listings since the Louisiana Purchase. Rarely, though, have those words felt more appropriate than they do for grand Apartment 3CDE at 1255 Fifth Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. This lofty four-bedroom gem, with broad, treetop views of Central Park, is the former home of the great American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. It’s our home of the day.

Leibovitz owned the apartment until 1992 (not long after she became the first woman to hold an exhibition at Washington’s National Portrait Gallery), and the condo — formerly Apartment 3CD — has seen some meaningful revisions since then, notably an expansion into apartment 3E next door. Today, the soaring space encompasses 3,042 square feet, and even without its celebrity provenance, it’s a keeper. The sprawling main level features a chef-ready kitchen and a great room that’s truly worthy of the term, with 15-foot ceilings and five giant windows on 39 feet of Central Park frontage.

A master suite shares the park view and features an en-suite bathroom and access to a clever mezzanine level, where you’ll find a library, a home office, and extra additional flexible space — for your darkroom, naturally. An “east wing” off the main level has its own entrance, along with two more bedrooms, the second of three and a half bathrooms, a private terrace, and a supplemental kitchen.

The humorist and actor Robert Benchley once said, “Central Park is the grandiose symbol of the front yard each child in New York hasn’t got.” At 1255 Fifth, however, Manhattan’s great park really is your front yard.

The building itself is a Fifth Avenue classic. Built in 1925 as the Daughters of Israel Home and Hospital, stately 1255 Fifth stands across the avenue from the Harlem Meer, five blocks from Mt. Sinai Hospital, and less than a mile from the Guggenheim Museum. The building has 59 apartments on eight floors, with a laundry room on every floor and bicycle storage downstairs. A doorman, a concierge, and live-in resident manager keep things running smoothly, and residents enjoy access to a roof deck and a fitness center.

Offered fully furnished for $11,500 per month, ex-Leibovitz Apartment 3CDE is represented by Corcoran agents Patrick Smith and Alicia Rogal.

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