Park Avenue penthouse, new to market, has been in same family for 100 years

The exterior of 863 Park Avenue and the interior of the penthouse
The exterior of 863 Park Avenue and the interior of the penthouse

On Park Avenue, a triplex penthouse that’s been in the same family for more than a century has come on the market.

The co-op spread is one of just 23 apartments at 863 Park Avenue, a pre-war building constructed in 1906 by developer William Taylor. The home is owned by the estate of the late Helen Scholz, the step-daughter of socialite Brooke Astor and widow of composer Ernest Schelling.

From 1939 until her death in 2007, Scholz lived in the apartment, first with Schelling, who bought it in the 1920s from Scholz’s cousin Frances Guthrie, and later with her second husband, cellist and art collector Janos Scholz. Guthrie was one of the building’s first residents, having bought her apartment there shortly after it was constructed, according to a 1998 article on the building by the New York Times.

Scholz’s estate put the apartment on the market today asking $6.25 million, according to It is listed by John Glass of Brown Harris Stevens. Glass declined to comment on the property.

It is extremely rare for a property to remain in the same family for such a long period, said broker Kirk Henckels of Stribling & Associates, who has done deals in the building.

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Henckels could only name one other such instance: the Kress family’s 17-room spread at 1020 Fifth Avenue. When the apartment, once owned by Dime Store founder Samuel Kress, sold for $26.75 million last year, it was the first resale of the unit since 1925.

“This is potentially a very glamorous apartment,” Henckels said of the Park Avenue listing, though he noted that the layout of the upstairs master bedroom could use some modernization. “This is pretty much the original floor plan, as far as I can see.”

According to the listing, the three-bedroom apartment features double-height ceilings and a wood-burning fireplace.

Scholz’s son Christopher declined to comment on the listing, but the 1998 Times story provided details about the apartment:

“The stair hall is decorated with murals by Allyn Cox and the view of Lake Geneva from Schelling’s estate in Switzerland,” the Times story said. At the time, Scholz still had “the original Vulcan range and 1930’s refrigerator in the kitchen.”