A legendary townhouse apartment famed for its wild and excessive parties back in the 1970s is currently for sale. The problem is nobody wants it.
Iconic fashion designer, Halston (real name Roy Halston Frowick), was at the peak of his powers in 1974 and his Paul Rudolph-designed apartment in the heart of Manhattan, New York, was his centrepiece.
With its two-story bamboo filled greenhouse, double-height ceilings, roof terrace, sunken living room and catwalks overlooking all the action, it was the symbol of an era laden with disco and debauchery. But today in 2018, no one even wants it.
Speaking to the New York Post, iconic fashion model Pat Cleveland, aged 68, said:
Going to his house with all the movie stars hanging out on the gray couches, it was so private and glamorous. here was always music playing, Rigaud candles burning and orchids everywhere. [sic]
Halston took the highly influential New York fashion scene by storm, he was credited for designing the pillbox hat Jacqueline Kennedy wore to the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy, thus legitimising himself as the ‘go-to-guy’ for women’s fashion. Among his clients were Babe Paley, Anjelica Huston, Gene Tierney, Lauren Bacall, Margaux Hemingway and Elizabeth Taylor. He was also good friends with Andy Warhol, who called his fashion shows ‘the art form of the ’70s’.
In 1974 he purchased the ‘101’ apartment, located in the Upper East Side, which became one of the ‘go-to-spots’ in New York.
His niece Lesley Frowick stated:
It was such a party house. It was laid out completely for entertainment. He really preferred to entertain at home.
With the emergence of the iconic club Studio 54 in 1974, Halston’s penthouse apartment only grew in stature. It became known as ‘the clubhouse for the Studio 54 crowd’, according to Simply Halston author Steven Gaines.
He described Halston’s parties as:
… one of the most reckless, anything-goes moments in history. Being trash was venerated. The trashier you could be, the more you could get laid, the more drugs you could take.
But the excessive natures of his party lifestyle soon gave way to tragedy. In 1988, Halston tested positive for AIDS. He died two years later in San Francisco.
Shortly before his death, he sold the apartment to Gianni Agnelli, the head of Fiat, and Gunter Sachs, a playboy, photographer and former husband of actress and model Brigitte Bardot. They paid $5 million and turned the place into a party spot, a fitting way to honour Halston’s life. Agnelli sold his stake in the property to Sachs, whose estate owns the house today.
In 2011, shortly after Sachs’ death, the property was put up for sale for $38.5 million. But seven years on the housing market has seen its value drop to $24 million.
Listing brokers, Leslie Hirsch said selling the apartment is:
… like selling a piece of art. It has to appeal to the right buyer, someone who can appreciate the architecture and history. It’s not your typical Upper East Side townhouse.
Just to paint a picture of what used to go down at the ‘101’ in its heyday, Halston would invite male sex workers, who according to Gaines’ book would be fed steak as ‘foreplay’, and host viewings for Moroccan sex shows which apparently featured bestiality.
Maybe the ‘bestiality’ part is the reason why no one wants to buy the property…
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