The New Math? Schools Chief Klein and the Missus Add Up 12 Rooms on Park Avenue

New York is a city of poshly-housed public servants.

The mayor owns two mansions in the East 70’s; the governor goes rent-free in a terraced Fifth Avenue apartment (it’s owned by his dad); development chief Robert Lieber has a new $7.25 million condo at Trump International; and even Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum is in the Beresford.

Now Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has bonus space on Park Avenue. He and his wife Nicole Seligman, a Sony executive vice president (and an ex-lawyer for both Oliver North and Bill Clinton) have paid $1.7 million for their second apartment at 95-year-old 565 Park Avenue.

“When you walk in the lobby,” a longtime resident once told The New York Times, “it smells like old money.” The bouquet won’t be new to Mr. Klein: City records show he bought a seven-room apartment in 2002 one floor up from his new one; that old apartment had been listed for $3.5 million.

If he combines the two co-ops into a duplex, the man who oversees 1.1 million schoolchildren will have himself a nice sprawl. According to listings, the apartments add up to 12 rooms: two fireplaces; two dining rooms, one “formal” and the other “intimate,” with its own archway; a wood-paneled library and a study; one stone kitchen; and one stainless steel kitchen.

The couple’s new master bedroom has unobstructed views over the 104-year-old Colony Club across the street on Park Avenue, a building the AIA Guide to New York City calls a “prissy neo-Georgian town palace.” (Don’t tease Mr. Klein’s wife about the prissy neighborhood: Lt. Col. North once said, “Nobody messes with Nicole Seligman.”)

Her husband grew up in the outer boroughs, but when he took office in 2002, Mr. Klein turned down the keys to a $2.4 million Brooklyn Heights brownstone the city had bought for schools chancellors. Maybe it lacked that moneyed odor?

A spokesperson said Mr. Klein “gracefully declined” to comment, and his wife didn’t return calls to her office.

The New Math? Schools Chief Klein and the Missus Add Up 12 Rooms on Park Avenue