Turmoil at the “Tower of Power”

Residents of ultra-exclusive 740 Park suffer crumbling facade, fires and thefts

An illustration of 740 Park Avenue's cracking facade (inset from left: David Koch and Israel Englander)
An illustration of 740 Park Avenue's cracking facade (inset from left: David Koch and Israel Englander)

Burglaries, leaks, fires, a cracking facade … You know, luxury.

The super-rich residents of 740 Park Avenue have faced a daunting series of problems with their ultra-exclusive Upper East Side co-op, from staff shake-ups to thefts, flooding, fire damage and more, reported Michael Gross, author of “740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building,” for the New York Post.

Workers will soon tear down the Art Deco building’s limestone facade to replace the anchors holding it in place after several pieces fell to the ground.

But that’s just the latest calamity. A duplex unit at the building, owned by J. Ezra Merkin, a financier affiliated with Bernie Madoff, caught fire in July. The fire resulted in the displacement of several residents including industrialist, philanthropist and political activist David Koch and his life.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

By signing up, you agree to TheRealDeal Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Before that, about two years ago, the building’s residents were hit with a series of burglaries in which thieves stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and similar items, including from hedge funder Israel Englander.

“It seemed high-security until you got inside,” an unnamed building resident told the Post. “I was shown other apartments by the staff when people were away. If you have five residences and 15 watches, the chances are you’ll think you misplaced it. That’s the life [these tenants] lead. It made them easy targets.”

Some residents, though, suspected the building’s staff members might be responsible.

“It’s the last place you’d expect a robbery,” another unnamed tenant told the paper. “The Kochs have 11 bodyguards. We assumed it was an inside job.” [NYP]Ariel Stulberg