Amount Harper’s Publisher Paid for Central Park West Co-op: $5 M.

cpw151 01b photo  Amount Harpers Publisher Paid for Central Park West Co op: $5 M. John R. “Rick” MacArthur has expensive taste in difficult causes. In 1980, the Harper’s publisher persuaded his father to save the magazine and has been bailing it out ever since. Now, he just dropped $5.05 million on a major fixer-upper on Central Park West. 

Mr. MacArthur, a journalist and heir to his father’s business empire, almost single-handedly saved the venerable lefty rag. Clearly there are still some extra millions to go around, as he just purchased this three-bedroom apartment in The Kenilworth at 151 Central Park West with his wife, book designer Renee Khatami.

The apartment, listed by Margaret Velard of Brown Harris Stevens, was originally put on the market for $5.495 million, but was sold for the reduced price of $4.95 million. After long days spent exposing corruption and rescuing old media, Mr. MacArthur will enjoy some 40-foot vistas of Central Park and lovely wrought-iron detailing, reminiscent of an era when people still read magazines.

Much like Harper’s, the apartment boasts a prestigious past in desperate need of renovations. The listing suggests you bring along an architect, code for more than just a fresh coat of paint. There are only three apartments to a floor in the building, where units have been listed for as much as $21 million recently.

Mr. MacArthur is related to but has no involvement in the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which awards the well-known “genius grants.”

The apartment has belonged to the same shareholder for almost half a century — charming dilettante Sidney J. Edison, who died almost a year ago today. Edison dabbled in the city’s dance and art scenes, but was also heir to the Edison Brothers department store fortune. 

Both Mr. MacArthur and Ms. Velard declined to comment.

lkusisto@observer.com