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Joan Rivers’ Penthouse in New York City, NY (Listed for $38 Million)


Joan Rivers is the world-famous comedian of the 1960s who was also known as an author, scriptwriter, film director, jewelry designer, and businesswoman. Her palatial New York City Upper East Side penthouse that she decorated herself is now on the market priced at $38 million.

The four-bedroom triplex penthouse has Central Park views and a private elevator entry hall that leads to a two-story gallery that adjoins the living room. The penthouse also boasts of wood-burning fireplaces, 23-foot ceilings, parquet-de-Versailles flooring, a paneled library, a formal dining room, 18th-century French panels, a south-facing terrace. The penthouse has large entertaining spaces with a ballroom, music room and antique columns.

The Upper East Side apartment of 1960s comedian, Joan Rivers, is handled by the listing agent, Jenny Lenz of Dolly Lenz Real Estate in New York.

  • This is a look above the entry hall and central gallery with warm lighting, intricate designs on the walls and tall pillars flanking the entrance to the living room on the far side. Image courtesy of
  • This is a full view of the living room that has intricate details on its walls, patterned red sofas that match the area rug across from the fireplace topped with a painting and various decors. Image courtesy of
  • This is another living room with more seating space for entertaining guests on its comfortable beige sofas warmed by the fireplace topped with a large mirror and a chandelier. Image courtesy of
  • This is a full view of the living room showcasing more of its beige sofas flanking a glass-top coffee table topped with a high ceiling that hangs a chandelier. Image courtesy of
  • This is the reading corner of the library that has a large desk on the side of the fireplace and a couple of comfortable reading nooks. These are then complemented by the patterned wallpaper and the large chandelier. Image courtesy of
  • This is the primary bedroom with a large white bed that has lace curtains across from a dresser and a fireplace on the side of the bathroom entrance with marble floors. Image courtesy of
  • This is the home office with an abundance of natural lighting coming from the windows. This room also has multiple reading nooks and sofas complemented by the animal print area rug. Image courtesy of
  • This is the south-facing balcony of the apartment with park views and outdoor dining and sitting areas adorned by the multiple potted plants, shrubs on planters and terracotta flooring tiles. Image courtesy of
  • This is an exterior view of the apartment’s building showcasing the penthouse and its balcony at the top. Image courtesy of

All photos are used with permission from

Can we talk? And no, it hasn’t been redecorated, as who could have done it better than Joan herself? Reportedly purchased in 2014, after her death, by a Middle Eastern buyer when listed at $28 million, Joan Rivers’ palatial New York penthouse is back on the market, intact at $38 million.

One of the world’s most popular comedians since the 1960s, Joan was known for her in-your-face, politically incorrect stand-up performances and off-the-cuff humor that kept her fans laughing and sometimes made national headlines. Author of 12 books, joke-and-comedy scriptwriter, film director and actress in 27 films, jewelry designer, and with a host of other business pursuits, Joan’s life was as fast as her one-liners, spanning a prolific 55-year career.

Joan’s sense of style was as legendary as her sense of humor. Originally, the Upper East Side apartment had been designed for socialites John and Alice Troth Drexel in 1903 by the Gilded Age architect-to-the-very-rich Horace Trumbauer. After changing hands a few times, in the 1930s it became an exclusive apartment house with only nine units.

A year after her husband Edgar Rosenberg’s death in 1987, Joan sold her home in Los Angeles, returned to her home state, and purchased the New York penthouse. She threw herself into decorating it lavishly while keeping the decor style sympathetic to the French-themed architecture. She resided there for 28 years and often entertained a bevy of celebrities, including Princess Diana.

A private elevator entry hall leads to a dramatic two-story gallery which adjoins a light-flooded living room, each with a wood-burning fireplace. The reception rooms feature soaring 23’ ceilings and elegant parquet-de-Versailles flooring. A spacious corner-paneled library and a formal dining room feature ornate 18th-century French panels, both with original wood-burning fireplaces and overlooking a south-facing terrace.

The four-bedroom triplex has large entertaining spaces with a ballroom, music room, and antique columns. In Joan’s lavish style, the decorating is over-the-top just like Joan herself, who said, “It’s what Marie Antoinette would have done if she had money.” She further described the apartment as “Louis XIV meets Fred and Ginger.”

As much as Joan loved her fashionable home and the Central Park views, it had a quirk which she didn’t like: a ghost in the form of what was believed to be former owner, Mrs. Spencer. This probably wouldn’t have mattered had Mrs. Spencer stayed quiet, but on one occasion Joan said, she bit the heads off the cherubs on a chandelier. With 23-foot ceilings in the formal rooms, who else could have done it?

Finally, Joan engaged a voodoo priestess from Louisiana to eradicate the spirit throughout the building. As an extra incentive to keep the ghost happy, Joan found an old painting of Mrs. Spencer in the basement, cleaned it up, and hung it in the hallway with a vase of flowers on a table underneath it.

The listing agent is Jenny Lenz of Dolly Lenz Real Estate.

Photo credit: Corcoran


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