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An apartment once owned by Harry Winston in 927 Fifth Avenue, one of New York's most exclusive buildings, is on the market at Sotheby's for $32.5 million. The current owner, art collector Judith Hernstadt, bought the unit directly from the King of Diamonds himself, who purchased and renovated it in 1950. The building is the stuff of Manhattan legend: a limestone fixture built in 1917 by Warren & Wetmore, the same architects who designed Grand Central Terminal. Sales are rare at 927 Fifth, which has only 12 apartments, and its board is rumored to have taken a hard look in the past at potential celebrity buyers, rejecting those it deemed too high-profile (Mary Tyler Moore was one who made the cut).
The six-bedroom apartment, which sprawls across the ninth floor and has views of Central Park, boasts a private and public wing as well as a private elevator. The layout is said to have suited Winston's lifestyle. Due to his status as Hollywood's jeweler—and perhaps his penchant for keeping rare gems in his pockets—Winston was forbidden by his business insurance policy from showing his face in public. The apartment is located just one mile uptown from Harry Winston's Fifth Avenue flagship and one can imagine the jeweler walking back and forth, or perhaps making the commute in a car with tinted window for extra privacy.
But the apartment's interiors are anything but demure. There is a 64-foot-long gallery space, which Hernstadt used to display her impressive collection of American art and antiques, including a table at which George Washington once played cards. It has the original plaster molding and sash windows, as well as the herringbone floors; 27 windows (the number alone is enough to make a New Yorker swoon) overlook the Conservatory Pond and drench everything in natural light.
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