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Joan Rivers’ former New York penthouse is ghost-free and on the market

Joan Rivers’ former New York penthouse is back on the market and the good news is the late comedian went to the trouble of having demons exorcised from the residence.

The bad news is, the property, which is located on 62nd Street, near Fifth Avenue, will set you back $49 million. 

Late comedian and actor Rivers once described the lavish penthouse as, “What Marie Antoinette would have done, if she had money”.

According to Top Ten Real Estate Deals, the Upper East Side penthouse last sold in 2014 following Rivers’ death, when it was listed at $36.1 million.

The comedian once joked that she didn’t exercise, because “If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor”.  

It seems she had no problems with exorcisms though, and even had a voodoo priestess friend work her magic on her New York penthouse prior to moving in. 

The lavish penthouse apartment has 7m-high ceilings. Photo: Top Ten Real Estate Deals.

The home has not been redecorated since it changed hands, but Rivers was almost as renowned for her sense of style as she was for her sense of humour, so the new owners will be in safe hands. 

The apartment has a private elevator in the entry hall that leads to a two-storey gallery, which adjoins a light-flooded living room. Both the gallery and the living room feature wood-burning fireplaces. 

The reception rooms have 7m ceilings and parquet-de-Versailles flooring. 

The spacious library and a formal dining room feature ornate 18th-century French panels, both with original wood-burning fireplaces, and overlook a south-facing terrace. 

The four-bedroom triplex has large entertaining spaces, with a ballroom, music room and antique columns. 

Photo: Top Ten Real Estate Deals

The apartment was originally designed for socialites John and Alice Troth Drexel in 1903 by the Gilded Age architect-to-the-very-rich Horace Trumbauer. 

A year after her husband Edgar Rosenberg’s death in 1987, Rivers sold her home in Los Angeles and returned to New York and bought the Manhattan penthouse. 

Rivers decorated the space 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.

As much as Rivers reportedly loved the fashionable home and its stunning Central Park views, it had a quirk that she didn’t like – a ghost she believed to be a former owner, “Mrs Spencer”. 

According to Rivers, Mrs Spencer once bit the heads off the cherubs on a chandelier, which led her to engage the services of Louisiana voodoo practitioner Sallie Ann Glassman to eradicate the spirit from the building. 

The listing agent for the now apparently ghost-free residence is Jenny Lenz of Dolly Lenz Real Estate.

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Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson was the news editor for Elite Agent. He worked with the company from February 2020 to June 2020. For current stories, news alerts or pitches, please email editor@eliteagent.com.au.

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