It’s Free to Look: NYC’s Gilded Ages Revived at 998 Fifth Ave [SLIDESHOW]

Last time The Observer checked in on 998 Fifth Avenue, it was harboring a quiet listing—via a melodramatically mum broker protecting the idenitity of a Morgan Stanley executive who was reportedly asking $45 million for it as his company was taking a $10 billion government bailout.

This month, the curtain is drawn. A 12-room duplex on the same floor is for sale with Corcoran, represented by Patricia Cliff.  Although the economy may have repaired enough for public, eight-figure listings, the asking price — $23 million — still sounds outrageous.

Nine, ninety-eight Fifth Ave has a long been a baromenter for the changing mores of New York’s wealthy — designed by McKim, Mead & White, it was one of the first apartment buildings thought tasteful enough for the mansion-prone class. Original architectural details, including ornate wood paneling, leaded glass windows, a two-story stained glass church window, and marble floors remain, and continue to define the space.

It may lack radiant heating and a waterfall shower, but you still can’t top a classic.

SLIDESHOW: 998 Fifth Avenue

realestate@observer.com It’s Free to Look: NYC’s Gilded Ages Revived at 998 Fifth Ave [SLIDESHOW]