by FANG BLOCK, Manison Global
Date Publish: Wednesday December 20, 2017

The late millionaire heiress bought the Essex House property in 2000 for $5.9 mi

The estate of late millionaire heiress Rachel Lambert Mellon, known as “Bunny” to close friends as well as heads of foreign states, listed her apartment in the iconic Essex House in Manhattan for $8.9 million on Wednesday.

Mellon, who died in 2014 at 103, purchased two adjacent units on the 28th floor in the luxury hotel-condo building for $5.9 million in 2000, property records show. She combined them into a spread for her business appointments and social gatherings when she was in the city.


The 2,100-square-foot apartment has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, featuring herringbone timber floors, coffered ceilings, French doors and Central Park views, according to the listing with Spire Group.


It’s a perfect pied-à-terre with good views—and an even better location— for wealthy international families,  said George Fesser, who is handling the sale with colleague Stanley Hancock.

The condo-hotel building allows owners to rent out the apartment for short terms, Mr. Fesser added. Building amenities include a 24-hour concierge desk, room service, a spa, fitness center and fine dining.

Mellon, an heiress to the Listerine mouthwash fortune, was married to art collector and philanthropist Paul Mellon until his death in 1999. They had collected and displayed many valuable antiques in their homes, according to New York University professor Meryl Gordon, the author of “Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend,” which was published  in September.

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“The apartment has astonishing views. Like her homes in Virginia and Cape Cod, it feels very calm, very understated,” Ms. Gordon said.

Mixing with extraordinary art collections, Mellon decorated homes with furniture on the beat-up side, creating a feeling that they had been in the family for a while.

“Her style is interestingly shabby chic,” a style that’s become a phenomenon, Ms. Gordon said.

The estate plans to donate the proceeds of the sale to the Gerard B. Lambert Foundation, in memory of Mellon’s father. The foundation supports projects to build gardens for children’s hospitals, according to Mr. Fesser.

Showings of the apartment will start on Jan. 10.

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