Auchincloss’ Last Dispatch from the Ruling Class: $3.9 M. on Park

1092622 1 d Auchincloss’ Last Dispatch from the Ruling Class: $3.9 M. on ParkOf novelist Louis Auchincloss, fellow American scribe Gore Vidal (whose stepfather happened to be an Auchincloss) once declared, “Of all our novelists, Auchincloss is the only one who tells us how our rulers behave in their banks and their boardrooms, their law offices and their clubs. … Not since Dreiser has an American writer had so much to tell us about the role of money in our lives.”

And so it seems. The critical chronicler of the upper crust, who passed away this January, is still telling us about the role of money, as the 1111 Park Avenue apartment where he scrawled his novels longhand goes on the market for $3.9 million.

The high-floor three-bedroom with “very generous proportions” is listed by Brown Harris StevensMary Rutherford and Leslie Coleman. Asked if Auchincloss’ celebrity would garner more interest in the property, Ms. Rutherford told The Observer, “Well, I don’t want to comment on anything personal but provenance is always important.”

With north and east exposures, the proudly provenanced apartment is “graced with lovely prewar moldings and exceptional light.” At the end of the waltzing description, the listing dubiously stipulates, “The apartment has been beautifully maintained but needs updating,” which is the same as saying, in a listing for the Tower of Pisa, “It’s at a lovely angle but might need a slight realignment.”

The author grew up surrounded by the privileged set he so deftly narrated within his more than 60 published works. Though as he once noted, “There was never an Auchincloss fortune. … Each generation of Auchincloss men either made or married its own money.” Louis was no exception. A World War II veteran and a lawyer by trade, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2005 by President Bush and practiced law until 1987.

Memorialized by The New York Times, which had news of the apartment listing earlier this month, as having “a beaky, patrician nose” and a “high-pitched Brahmin accent,” Auchincloss’ most famous published works are his cross-generational family sagas such as The House of Five Talents, East Side Story and Portrait in Brownstone-all amply foddered by choice real estate, much like the man himself.

cmalle@observer.com