The legendary co-op 740 Park has been called “the world’s richest apartment building.”
The 19-story tower, which also uses the more discrete 71 East 71st Street address, was designed by Rosario Candela and developed by James Lee, the grandfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Because 740 Park was completed in 1930, just as the United States was entering the Great Depression, it faced financial difficulties that continued for decades. Its large units were white elephants that were difficult to sell.
By the time the building’s fortunes recovered in the 1980s, the face of the country’s and city’s elite had changed. America’s WASP aristocracy had given up its monopoly on high society in favor of a meritocracy of sorts. At 740 Park, representatives of this meritocracy include David Koch, Stephen Schwarzman, Vera Wang, Elizabeth Swig and William Zeckendorf.
Today, the building known for requiring applicants to show $100 million in liquid net worth is facing new challanges. Earlier this year, a fire erupted in the sauna of former Bernie Madoff associate Ezra Merkin, severely damaging several units, including the home of billionaire David Koch. And the building is in the midst of having its Art Deco façade stripped and reassembled after hunks of limestone reportedly fell onto the sidewalk.
Here’s a look at the captains of finance, industry and fashion weathering the co-op’s most recent storm.
David and Julia Koch
David Koch is a Kansas-born chemical engineer who is a hugely influential donor to conservative causes, benefactor to the arts and medical research and a scion of the Koch family, which made its fortune in chemicals. Since 1970, he has worked at Koch Industries, rising to president in 1979 and co-owner with his brother Charles in 1983. Julia Flesher Koch is a former fashion assistant and philanthropist. She is Koch’s second wife. The couple have three children.
Ronald and Jo Carole Knopf Lauder
Ronald Lauder is a philanthropist, art collector, native New Yorker, would-be politician, donor to Jewish causes and scion of the Lauder family, heirs to the Estée Lauder cosmetics fortune. Lauder has run for mayor, founded the Neue Galerie and served as a deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and as the U.S. ambassador to Austria. Jo Carole Knopf Lauder is a homemaker. The couple have two daughters.
Stephen Schwarzman and Christine Hearst Schwarzman
Stephen Schwarzman is a billionaire financier and philanthropist and the co-founder and principal of the Blackstone Group, the private equity firm. Christine Hearst Schwarzman is an intellectual-property lawyer. In the 1990s, she worked at Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman. She and Schwarzman, her second husband, have two children, Elizabeth and Edward. She has a child from a previous marriage.
Thomas and Alice Tisch
Unit price: $15 million
Thomas Tisch is a scion of the family that made its fortune through the Loews Corporation. Tisch is the managing partner at Four Partners, an investment fund. Alice Tisch is a homemaker and philanthropist and serves on the board of MOMA and other institutions.
Elizabeth Swig is an art collector and philanthropist. She is the ex-wife of Kent Swig, with whom she has two sons. Her father, Harry Macklowe, and her ex-husband are both real estate investors and former business partners who have experienced dramatic reversals of fortune.
Jonathan Sobel and Marcia Dunn
Unit price: $19.3 million
Jonathan Sobel is a financier, former Goldman Sachs partner and philanthropist who owns four car dealerships (Mini, BMW, Porsche and Audi) in Southampton. Marcia Dunn is an ophthalmologist in private practice and a philanthropist for medical causes.
Unit price: $23.1 milion
Vera Wang is a wedding dress and evening wear designer. Her show-stopping gowns cost tens of thousands of dollars and steal the spotlight at events like the Met Gala. This year, she separated from husband Arthur Becker, a computer executive. The couple have two children.
Hamburg and Miranda Tang
Hamburg Tang, Sr. is a retired businessman who made his fortune in semiconductors. Miranda Wong Tang is a philanthropist. In 2001, she sat on the board of the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute and was a member of the president’s council at Memorial Sloan-Kettering.
William Lie Zeckendorf and Laura Jean Weiser
Unit price: $27 million
William Lie Zeckendorf is a developer and scion of the Zeckendorf family, which has invested in NYC real estate for three generations. He is co-chairman of Terra Holdings, which controls the brokerages Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property. Laura Jean Weiser is a lawyer.
Israel and Caryl Englander
Unit price: $71.3 million
Israel Englander, who goes by Izzy, is a hedge fund manager, art collector and philanthropist who grew up in Crown Heights. Caryl Englander, née Schechter, is an art collector and philanthropist. She sits on the board of the Mount Sinai Children’s Center Foundation.
John and Carmen Thain
Unit price: $27.5 million
John Thain stepped down this year from his role as chairman and chief executive of mid-sized lender CIT Group. Thain’s decade-long leadership of Merrill Lynch was cut short by the financial crisis. Carmen Ribera-Thain is a homemaker. The couple have four children.
Steven and Heather Mnuchin
Steven Mnuchin is a senior bank executive, former Goldman Sachs partner and movie financier. His career includes a stint as co-owner of Relativity Media, a film and television production studio in Beverly Hills. The couple have three children and spend most of their time in LA.
Tamara and David Randall Winn
Unit price: $32 million
Tamara Sarah Winn is an heiress. She is the daughter of billionaire Ira Rennert, who made his fortune in mining and smelting plants in South America and the U.S. David Randall Winn, who goes by Randy, is a fund manager and former credit ratings analyst.
Howard and Nancy Marks
Unit price: $52.5 million
Howard Marks is a private equity executive, former equities analyst and author. He serves as chairman of Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management. He and his second wife, Nancy, an educator by training, spend much of their time in LA. The couple have a son.
David and Danielle Ganek
Unit price: $19.1 million
David Ganek is a money manager, patron of the arts and a former trustee of the Guggenheim. From 2003 to 2011, he ran hedge fund Level Global. Danielle Ganek is a philanthropist, novelist and former magazine editor. The Ganeks have three children and divide their time between NYC