The longtime Fifth Avenue home of the late Hollywood director George Roy Hill has hit the market for $9.8 million. Hill, whose directing credits include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting -which won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director-died in the apartment, which had been his home for 32 years, on Dec. 27, 2002, at the age of 81, after a battle with Parkinson’s disease.
The apartment, which hit the market Friday, is a grand three-bedroom co-op at 920 Fifth Avenue, a white-glove building at 72nd Street. It has 70 contiguous feet of windows facing Central Park-a vista only surpassed by 820 Fifth Avenue, where full-floor units boast 100 feet facing the park. Hill’s apartment is still fully furnished, a testament to a life lived among Hollywood legends.
“There is some interesting memorabilia,” said Patricia Cliff, a senior vice president at the Corcoran Group, one of two brokers marketing the apartment. “There are pictures of him with Robert Redford and Paul Newman, and there are two Oscars around.”
Hill was famously publicity-shy, and Ms. Cliff said the décor of his apartment reflected his desire to eschew anything gaudy or ostentatious. For example, whereas many Academy Award winners build shrines for their Oscars, Hill had no such display.
“There isn’t any specific cabinet for the Oscars,” Ms. Cliff said. “They are sort of tucked up there on a shelf. It’s very understated. It looks like your grandmother’s apartment.”
Ms. Cliff is sharing the listing with Barbara Chase, also of the Corcoran Group. She declined to comment on the apartment, as did the executor of Hill’s estate.
The ninth-floor apartment at 920 Fifth includes a living room, dining room and library, which branches off the apartment’s square entrance foyer. The unit also has an eat-in kitchen and servant’s hall, and includes a separate maid’s room upstairs. Inhabitants at 920 Fifth include literary superagents Mort and Linda Janklow, and public-relations doyenne Harriet Weintraub.
Hill, a Yale graduate, was a Marine pilot in both World War II and the Korean War. Before moving onto film, he was a respected director of television and Broadway dramas. He made his Broadway directing debut in 1957 with the Pulitzer Prize–winning play Look Homeward, Angel . His other film credits-many of which starred his longtime friends, Paul Newman and Robert Redford-include Hawaii , Thoroughly Modern Millie , The Great Waldo Pepper , Slap Shot , The World According to Garp and Funny Farm. He was the first director to have two movies on Variety ‘s list of all-time Top 10 movie box-office hits, for Butch Cassidy and The Sting .
Bullish on Chelsea: Deposed Money Guy In Million-Dollar Flip
When Bruce Steinberg, Merrill Lynch’s perennially bullish chief economist, got fired in November, he did what lots of post-boom money guys did: He sold his apartment, a Chelsea co-op, for $1.66 million.
But unlike many of his colleagues, he actually moved to a more expensive place. According to city records, Mr. Steinberg closed in early January on a $2.55 million unfinished, 2,700-square-foot loft in the Dance Building, a new condo development atop the Dance Theater Workshop, at 217 West 19th Street.
Merrill Lynch’s chief economist since 1997, Mr. Steinberg was the company’s most public spokesman, appearing regularly on television and quoted frequently in the print media as one of the industry’s most unabashedly bullish prognosticators. When the company announced, on Nov. 7, 2002, that he and two other high-level Merrill employees were leaving the company, it was widely interpreted as a sign of the company’s dissatisfaction with their optimistic economic predictions.
Mr. Steinberg’s loft at the Dance Building has 53 feet of windows, a large terrace and lots of raw space. It could easily accomodate three bedrooms, with ample space left over for a large combined living and dining room. The co-op Mr. Steinberg sold, at 133 West 17th Street, was a penthouse unit that he bought in 1991 for $595,000. It has three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms and a 1,000-square-foot terrace.
Mr. Steinberg’s real-estate lawyer declined to comment on the Dance Building deal, and Mr. Steinberg could not be reached for comment. Natalie Rakowski of Douglas Elliman, who had the exclusive on the Dance Building apartment, also declined to comment.
RECENT TRANSACTIONS IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET
457 West 141st Street
Asking: $899,000. Selling: $825,000.
Time on the market: three months.
ACROSS 110th STREET A divorced mother was living in a two-bedroom co-op on 84th and Broadway when she decided that real-estate values below 110th Street had topped out. So with her teenage daughter in tow, they began to scour Hamilton Heights-one of the most sought-after pockets of Harlem-for a townhouse. “She thought this was the time to cash out and triple her space for the same amount of money,” said one of the brokers on this deal, Glenn Rice of Willie Kathryn Suggs Licensed Real Estate Brokers. The West 141st Street house she ended up with had previously been the residence of neighborhood doctor Barbara Justice, who had also used the building as an examination office, and many prominent community members used to come there for check-ups-including the late civil-rights leader and Black Panther, Stokely Carmichael. A short while ago, however, the doctor ran into financial troubles, and she ended up selling the house to an investor last summer. He then slapped on a new coat of paint and promptly put the building back on the market for $999,000. When that price didn’t attract any buyers, he dropped it to $899,000. That price was so exciting to the J.P. Morgan mom that she insisted on signing over a retainer for the property on a Saturday, to guard against the possibility of a Monday-morning buyer swooping in first. The 1906 house is within the Hamilton Heights Historic District, and the 18-foot-wide building consists of a duplex unit on the first two floors and two simplexes above. Almost all the original details that characterize townhouses in the district remained intact, including a grand oak staircase and parquet floors.
252 Seventh Avenue
Two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo.
Asking: $1.275 million. Selling: $1.175 million.
Charges: $732; taxes: $557.
Time on the market: five weeks.
VIEW FROM THE TOP Herb Seilberger grew up in an airline family, and his old apartment in Chelsea had the artifacts to prove it. Dad was a Pan Am pilot for 45 years, and Mom was a stewardess. As a child, Mr. Seilberger used to write to airline executives, asking them “for every picture they had of planes.” Over time, his collection expanded to include tchotchkes like Polaroid pictures that a costume designer took of Dean Martin and Jacqueline Bisset for the movie Airport . Mr. Seilberger now works as a cruise sales specialist on board the QE2 ocean liner, so his collection also reflects the nautical part of his life; pictures and models of boats abound. Mr. Seilberger’s partner of nine years, Alec Briggs, runs his own interior-design firm, and when they bought this apartment at the Chelsea Mercantile two years ago, Mr. Briggs put his skills to work, putting the collection on display. “We used the collection he had to graphically tie the whole apartment together,” said Mr. Briggs. They recently decided to sell the place after stumbling on a new investment opportunity on West 18th Street, and Mr. Seilberger said the collection probably sweetened the deal for prospective buyers. “It’s a conversation piece,” he said, “and it would also give people creative ideas of how to display their own collections that they may have.” Two advertising executives snapped up the apartment, and Mr. Seilberger and Mr. Briggs are now at work launching a new business: designing home accessories to market to a gay clientele. Linda Gertler, a vice president at the Corcoran Group, had the exclusive on the property.