Read 740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building by Michael Gross Free Online
Book Title: 740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building|
The author of the book: Michael Gross
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.10 MB
Edition: Broadway Books
Date of issue: October 10th 2006
ISBN 13: 9780767917445
Read full description of the books 740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building:From the author of House of Outrageous Fortune
For seventy-five years, it’s been Manhattan’s richest apartment building, and one of the most lusted-after addresses in the world. One apartment had 37 rooms, 14 bathrooms, 43 closets, 11 working fireplaces, a private elevator, and his-and-hers saunas; another at one time had a live-in service staff of 16. To this day, it is steeped in the purest luxury, the kind most of us could only imagine, until now.
The last great building to go up along New York’s Gold Coast, construction on 740 Park finished in 1930. Since then, 740 has been home to an ever-evolving cadre of our wealthiest and most powerful families, some of America’s (and the world’s) oldest money—the kind attached to names like Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Bouvier, Chrysler, Niarchos, Houghton, and Harkness—and some whose names evoke the excesses of today’s monied elite: Kravis, Koch, Bronfman, Perelman, Steinberg, and Schwarzman. All along, the building has housed titans of industry, political power brokers, international royalty, fabulous scam-artists, and even the lowest scoundrels.
The book begins with the tumultuous story of the building’s construction. Conceived in the bubbling financial, artistic, and social cauldron of 1920’s Manhattan, 740 Park rose to its dizzying heights as the stock market plunged in 1929—the building was in dire financial straits before the first apartments were sold. The builders include the architectural genius Rosario Candela, the scheming businessman James T. Lee (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s grandfather), and a raft of financiers, many of whom were little more than white-collar crooks and grand-scale hustlers.
Once finished, 740 became a magnet for the richest, oldest families in the country: the Brewsters, descendents of the leader of the Plymouth Colony; the socially-registered Bordens, Hoppins, Scovilles, Thornes, and Schermerhorns; and top executives of the Chase Bank, American Express, and U.S. Rubber. Outside the walls of 740 Park, these were the people shaping America culturally and economically. Within those walls, they were indulging in all of the Seven Deadly Sins.
As the social climate evolved throughout the last century, so did 740 Park: after World War II, the building’s rulers eased their more restrictive policies and began allowing Jews (though not to this day African Americans) to reside within their hallowed walls. Nowadays, it is full to bursting with new money, people whose fortunes, though freshly-made, are large enough to buy their way in.
At its core this book is a social history of the American rich, and how the locus of power and influence has shifted haltingly from old bloodlines to new money. But it’s also much more than that: filled with meaty, startling, often tragic stories of the people who lived behind 740’s walls, the book gives us an unprecedented access to worlds of wealth, privilege, and extraordinary folly that are usually hidden behind a scrim of money and influence. This is, truly, how the other half—or at least the other one hundredth of one percent—lives.
Read information about the authorThis book list is a work in progress. Michael Gross is recognized as one of America’s most provocative writers of non-fiction–its “foremost chronicler of the upper-crust,” says curbed.com. His latest book Unreal Estate, to be published November 1, 2011, is a west coast version of his bestseller, 740 Park, this time exposing the most exclusive neighborhoods of Los Angeles–Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, Bel Air and Beverly Park–and their residents. 740 Park, published in 2005, is the inside story of New York’s richest, most prestigious cooperative apartment building. Built by James T. Lee, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ grandfather, and long the residence of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., 740 Park is today the home of some of New York’s wealthiest and most prominent families. Fortune has described 740 Park as “jaw-dropping apartment porn.” It offers an unprecedented peek into the world of such latterday financial heroes and villains as Stephen Schwarzman, Ezra Merkin and John Thain.
In between these real estate epics, Gross published the wildly controversial expose of New York’s cultural elite Rogues’ Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money that Made the Metropolitan Museum in 2009, setting off an extraordinary campaign by some of New York’s most influential citizens to suppress the book. It failed. The New York Times Book Review called it “a blockbuster exhibition of human achievement and flaws” and Vanity Fair said it is simply “explosive.” Why? “Gross demonstrates he knows his stuff. It’s a terrific tale…gossipy, color-rich, fact-packed …What Gross reveals is stuff that more people should know,” according to USA Today. A paperback edition was released in May 2010.
Before 740 Park, Gross wrote Genuine Authentic, a biography of fashion designer Ralph Lauren. It was acclaimed by The New York Times as a work of “impressive reporting” that “hack(s) through the hype and half-truths” of the Polo purveyor’s legend. Publishers Weekly praised his “meticulous research and artful prose…The crackerjack journalist simultaneously tells a compelling story and gives it meat enough to be satisfying.”
A Contributing Editor of Travel & Leisure, Gross has also worked as a columnist for The New York Times, GQ, Tatler, Town & Country, and The Daily News; a Contributing Editor of New York (where he wrote 26 cover stories, including the magazine’s all-time best-selling reported cover story on John F. Kennedy, Jr.), and of Talk; a Senior Writer at Esquire, and a Senior Editor at George.
In 2000, Gross published My Generation, a generational biography of the Baby Boom. It was called “wonderful” by the Washington Times, “trenchant, well-dramatized, thought-provoking and unusual” by Kirkus Reviews and “hugely entertaining…a brilliantly reported story,” by the Orlando Sentinel.
Gross’s 1995 book, Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women, was an investigative tour-de-force, and a blistering expose of the fashion-modeling business. It was a New York Times bestseller, and a selection of the Quality Paperback Book Club. Model, which remains in print and in demand more than a dozen years after its first publication, was also published in France, the U. K., Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, Brazil, and China. Most recently, an updated edition was published in Russia. Click here to read reviews of Model.
Over the years Gross has profiled such subjects as John F. Kennedy Jr., Greta Garbo, Stephanie of Monaco, Richard Gere, Alec Baldwin, Madonna, and Ivana Trump; fashion figures Tina Chow, Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenberg, Isaac Mizrahi, Ralph Lauren, and Steven Meisel, and he’s written on topics as diverse as philanthropy, the theft of the internet domain sex.com, plastic surgery, divorce, the A-List, Sex in the 90s and Greenwich Village-the last in an article that introduced the phrase “quality of life” into New York City’s 1993 mayoral campaig
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