Real estate stories starring pornography publishers don’t always end well: Penthouse founder Bob Guccione lost his East 67th Street mansion in 2006; Al Goldstein, former publisher of Screw, went from a Pompano Beach mansion (featuring an 11-foot raised middle finger) to sleeping in a car parked behind a Boston Market; even Hugh Hefner sold off his English Manor–style house next to the Playboy Mansion this year for $18 million, instead of his original $27,995,000 asking price.
But the quiet Carl Ruderman, whom Mr. Goldstein is said to have called the industry’s “invisible man,” seems to have a very nice place. According to city records, a two-unit sprawl at the Bristol Plaza on East 65th Street that just went on sale for $13.25 million belongs to the publisher, whose titles over the years have reportedly ranged from Cheri and High Society to Playgirl (and, more recently, the nobler Elite Traveler).
Records don’t show how much Mr. Ruderman paid for the north unit, but the other one was bought in 2005 for $5.25 million from a seller named Wang Properties Limited.
His listing agent is Brown Harris Stevens’ Penny Toepfer-Guttman. “Sorry,” she wrote in an email, “can’t talk about it but thanks for thinking of me.” Her listing says the full-floor, 5,550-square-foot, 13-room, eight-bedroom apartment’s units are uncombined, but there’s a proposed floor plan showing what a combined spread would look like.
Architect Frank Visconti said he drew that up for another owner in the building, the Slim-Fast billionaire S. Daniel Abraham. He ended up selling his place last year for $14 million, but introduced Mr. Visconti to the publisher.
Photographs show Mr. Ruderman to be a well-tanned man with rimless glasses, slicked-back hair, a mustache, great suits and an excellent smile. “Just a very nice man,” the architect said. “He has a statue of himself, a bust, in glasses. … You don’t see statues with glasses.”
It’s not clear why he wants to sell, but one reason might be that the condominium wouldn’t allow certain renovations. “I know the master bathroom was a big issue, just because he wanted a his-and-hers type of arrangement,” Mr. Visconti said, “opposed to what the building has, which is one bathroom that can have private chambers in it—but not truly split between his and hers.”
Bristol Plaza, a gigantic tower on Third Avenue, made the news this year after a dog owned by ex–Shearson Lehman chief Peter Cohen (he of Barbarians at the Gate) reportedly battered a housekeeper.