407 E. 75th St., New York; $12.5 Million
In 1970, after a three-month search with help from his then studio manager, Gideon Lewin, Richard Avedon bought the historic carriage house turned studio-equipped townhouse at 75th Street and First Avenue from the photographer Reid Miles for $147,500. “Miles’s existing studio already had the curved walls, which were rare at the time,” Lewin says. Formerly subdivided into two units—Avedon lived on part of the second floor and rented out the rest of the second, third and fourth levels to actors Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss and then to the art dealer Walter Randel—the building has transformed dramatically since his 2004 death. In 2005 it was purchased for $6.5 million by Olivier Sarkozy (the half-brother of France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy), who performed the first of two remodels. Last year he sold it to its current owner, an entertainment mogul who helped launch the Fox Broadcasting Company, for $8.4 million. Today the studio and a dark room are among the few preserved elements from Avedon’s ownership. Architect Joseph Dirand performed the property’s second interior renovation: a sleek modern makeover in black-and-white tones that fittingly recall the famous portraits taken by its onetime resident.
Contact: CORE, 212-726-0786.