Peek Inside Gloria Vanderbilt’s Whimsical NYC Apartment for Sale

published Aug 5, 2021
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Two years after her death at the age of 95, Gloria Vanderbilt’s colorful Upper East Side apartment is on the market, and it’s up for grabs at $1,125,000. Listed by her son, Anderson Cooper, the stunning, unique space served as Vanderbilt’s primary residence for 23 years, and it’s remained largely untouched since she moved in back in 1997, according to the New York Times.

Located at 30 Beekman Place on the cusp of Midtown East and the Upper East Side between 50th and 51st streets in Manhattan, the two-bedroom abode marked the end to a period of change for Vanderbilt, according to Cooper, who told the NYT that when he was growing up, his family moved every four years. “My mom was always remodeling and redecorating, never quite satisfied with the story the room was telling at the time,” he shared. “Moving would be part of that. She would get restless with a place. For her to stay in this apartment for 23 years, which for my mom is an eternity, it had to change. I think she got tired of all the moving, and she decided to burrow into this place and just work on it.”

Boasting all kinds of amenities including two full baths and one half bath, high ceilings and tons of natural sunlight thanks to oversized windows, two bedrooms (one of which has a spacious walk-in closet), a roomy kitchen with a breakfast space, a light-drenched foyer that leads to a gallery, a formal dining room, and a large living room with a wood-burning fireplace, you might be wondering how such a storied apartment in a pre-war building is so affordable — by NYC standards, of course. Its location on the second floor of the building (i.e., not a highly sought after location) and lack of updates likely contribute to its lower price point than other apartments up for grabs in the same building, which includes amenities like a new fitness center, bike storage, and a furnished outdoor courtyard.

Of course, the true charm of Vanderbilt’s apartment is all the unique personal touches, of which there are many. From vibrant pink lacquered windows in the living room to the incredible artwork (such as the full-scale portrait of her mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, painted by artist Dana Pond and the life-size portrait of Vanderbilt herself, painted by artist Aaron Shikler) and a hand-painted mantel including a quote paraphrased from Albert Einstein, there’s endless color and whimsy to be found inside.

Back in 2018, the artist, heiress, and fashion mogul gave a tour of her home to The Cut, sharing a bit about her design and decor choices. “What is beautiful to me might not be beautiful to someone else,” she mused, adding, “I certainly have a lot of fantasy and imagination.” Her famous quote — “decorating is autobiography” — no doubt weaves its way into every square inch of the space, which is why shades of orange, glossy black, and hot pink feel right at home with mirrored walls, unexpected tchotchkes, and artwork of every medium on display.

“She kept finding her own style in deeper ways as she got older,” Vanderbilt’s close friend and former NYT theater critic told the outlet. “Beekman Place was like a cocoon. But it wasn’t dark or forbidding. It had a sort of aqueous quality about it. All those colors, and the curiosity shop of objects. At night it was like a tent in the desert. An opulent Bedouin tent. For all of the emblems of family life and heritage and dynasty that she surrounded herself with, she knew how ephemeral life was, and how provisional.”