When Jann and Jane Wenner split in 1995, the coupled stayed married, putting off the legal wrangling that would inevitably arise when they split their publishing empire. Mr. Wenner borrowed $7,500 from his own family and from the family of his wife to found Rolling Stone, and once it grew into an empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars and includes Men’s Journal and Us Weekly, it would be understandable if the vagaries of divorce just didn’t seem worth it.
Until, that is, 2011. Mr. Wenner had been living with his partner, Matt Nye, a former Calvin Klein model 19 years his junior with whom he’s raising three kids, and Ms. Wenner finally wanted out. (There was speculation that the divorce was finalized because Mr. Wenner and Mr. Nye wanted to formally marry each other, but despite the legalization of gay marriage in New York, that never came to pass.) There was a little acrimony in the divorce, including a lawsuit filed by Ms. Wenner’s Amagansett groundskeeper, but things seem to have gone as smoothly as a divorce can be expected to go and Jane Wenner got to keep the couple’s Upper West Side townhouse, at 37 West 70th Street.
Now, after three years of holding onto the property, Ms. Wenner wants to cash out. Though she acquired Mr. Wenner’s stake in the home in 2010 for a bit more than $4 million, now she wants much, much more: $17.95 million. At nearly $2,500 per square foot for the 7,200-square foot home, the asking price is nearly double the Upper West Side townhouse average.
Once owned by Perry Ellis, the 20-foot-wide, five-story townhouse dates back to 1891, when it was designed by architect Gilbert A. Schellenger, who built townhouses from Harlem to Crown Heights. It was most recently renovated by American designer Ward Bennett—a distinction that no new homes will be able to claim, given that he passed away in 2003.
“The bathrooms are outfitted with the Art Deco treasures of the London Savoy Hotel,” reads the listing—Wolf Jakubowski of Brown Harris Stevens has the exclusive. The home has five bedrooms, but where it really shines are the fireplaces: it lays claim to a whopping ten, nine of which are wood (or back issues of the glossy magazine) burning.