Living Like Marie Antoinette In New York City

If Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, fell through a temporal portal, a la Kate and Leopold…

Kate and Leopold


…and landed in New York city in the year 2015, this is where she would live: Joan River’s amazing penthouse apartment. Of course, she would need $28 million dollars first. Who knew the often controversial, take-no-prisoners comedian, Joan Rivers lived such an elegant, opulent queen-like existence!

This elegant neo-French Classic apartment, located at 1 East 62nd Street, was built in 1903. It was originally designed by the Gilded Age architect, Horace Trumbaurer and belonged to millionaires, Alice and John S. Drexel. The apartment is also referred to as the Spencer Condominium.

Joan River's New York Apartment Music Room


Joan Rivers was a big fan of the decorating style of Marie Antoinette saying, “She had great style.” Always joking she added that this is how Marie Antoinette would have lived “if she had money.” That totally sounds like something she would have said, doesn’t it?

This pre-war home is truly queen-worthy with 5,100 square feet of space, absolutely palatial by New York apartment standards. It has 11 rooms including 2 kitchens, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths and 5 fireplaces.

This room is called the “ballroom” in the listing, but I’m wondering if it’s really the music room since it houses a grand piano.

Music Room in Joan River's New York Apartment


The ceiling height in both the ballroom and music room is 23 feet!

Joan River's New York Apartment Living Room


This room is named as the music room in the listing but I wonder if it’s actually the  ballroom. I love the ceiling! Despite her raucous sense of humor, Joan had exquisite taste.

Joan River's New York Apartment Ballroom


Imagine entertaining here, what fun it would be to attend a party in this room.

Ballroom in Joan River's New York Apartment


The dining room is as amazing as the rest of the apartment. Notice the gorgeous chandelier and beautiful antique mirrors.

Joan River's New York Apartment Dining Room


The library has amazing views overlooking Central Park.

Joan River's New York Apartment Library Study


Here’s another view of the library with one of the apartment’s five fireplaces.

Library in Joan River's New York Apartment


I love that the master bedroom also has a fireplace.

Bedroom Joan River's New York Apartment


This must have been where Joan came to unwind and relax, this space feels much more homey and comfortable, very different from the rest of the apartment.

TV Room in Joan River's New York Apartment


Skyline views from the terrace…

Joan River's New York Apartment Terrace Garden


I wish we could see the rest of the bedrooms…I bet they are amazing, as well. Here’s a floor plan of the apartment.

Floorplan Joan River's New York Penthouse Apartment


You can read more about Joan River’s New York apartment at Corcoran Group Real Estate and HERE where these pictures were found.

Love touring a great celebrity home? Tour Heidi Klum’s Brentwood Estate with amazing views here: Heidi Klum’s Brentwood Estate and Gardens

Heidi Klum's CA Home for Sale

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  1. I L O V E it!! one of the most beautiful places yet, to me, because I love this kind of decor. Thank you for finding this. Would love to see the other bedrooms!

  2. What a surprise!! I have mixed feelings about this place, most of the rooms I would be perched on the edge of my seat with my cup of tea, waiting for the Queen to appear. The minute you showed us the library, I was more comfortable and could see that was her relaxation area.
    The view is wonderful and knowing Joan and her sense of humour, she would probably have said of the people who passed judgement on her…”let them see my house and then *let them eat cake*!! 🙂
    Thanks, Susan, you show us so many different sides to people’s worlds.

  3. I used to really enjoy Joan Rivers “back in the day” when she was on Johnny Carson and other big television shows but I was not a fan of her during her latter years. But I must say that she certainly knew how to live in grand style. That apartment is exquisite. It would take months to just really look at everything in there!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I always loved watching Joan Rivers on QVC; thanks for the glimpse into her home. She had amazing style and taste.

  5. It’s certainly done to perfection. I prefer what she did starting with the dining room and the rest of the place- they seem quite comfortable and stylish too. I saw a home she had for sale a while back that was in Connecticut. Quite different from this home. It’s such a shame how she ended up dying. I guess she left her daughter and Grandson her $150,000,000.00 estate and her daughter is selling both places.

    • Oh, I would love to have seen the home in Connecticut…guess that was her country estate? Yeah, it really upset me when I heard about it…something like that should never happen.

  6. bobbi duncan says

    Hi there. I once saw a show where Joan took viewers on a tour of her magnificent home. I always felt her place would be lovely, judging by how exquisitely her wardrobe was always pulled together. Although I look dreamily at the architecture and furnishings of such places, the vast spaces of really big rooms and high ceilings always makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t think I was made for grand spaces lol! Even when I lived in a large home, I fought the builder for no more than 9 and 10 foot ceilings, and only then to allow for trays for fans and chandeliers. I’ve just always loved the cottages in old movies and on tree-lined streets of quaint little towns. My dream would be to live in one of Nantucket’s cottages with a picket fence, rose arbor, great outdoor spaces in which to relax while looking out across a pond with two swans, and when I win the lotto that’s where we’ll live during warmer months…oh, it’s fun to dream. Enjoying this sunny day while organizing my thrown into a box recipe cards…knew I’d pay for that.

    • Me neither, Bobbi…I don’t even like the open interiors of most of today’s homes, I know I’m weird. I do like 9-10 foot ceilings but don’t like gigantic rooms. The higher ceilings do let you have a chandelier…very good point! I love the sound of your dream cottage…it sounds perfect!

  7. Loved your post on Joan Rivers home. It is so beautiful and ornate. Joan said that she shared this apartment with a ghost/spirit. I think that is so cool. Even though her comments often made you cringe, she was so generous with her wealth and did so much for people that we are not aware of. Thanks for this post. Valerie

    • I never heard that about the ghost, what a hoot! And it didn’t scare her to stay there? 🙂

      • It is the spirit of a Mrs. Spenser niece of J P Morgan. Joan was bothered by the presence so had a priestess come to help make peace with it. When complaining to a doorman about it he told Joan oh that is Mrs Spenser and she goes to all the nine condos. Google it. Recently posted again in The New York Post now that the place is up for sale. I loved Joan’s place in Conn. It was very traditonal and liveable to most I would say.

  8. Joan achieved all that she had by a hardwork ethic. Her NYC abode comes with a haunting spirit who was niece of man who had been the original owner. She is disturbed it was divided into apartments and supposedly roames them all. The kitchen on this apartment is very small according to Joan and people would be surprised the oppulent meals that were prepared there. I now see there are two kitchens. She entertained lavishly and was known for her holiday party.

    • Oh, to have attended one of those parties! I bet they were spectacular! So interesting about the ghost…sounds like more than one person saw it, then.

  9. The ballroom/music room is just too much. Is that a flat screen in front of one of those huge mirrors over a fireplace? Or is it art? But I do like the library, not the leather sofa but do like the curtains and chairs.

    Is this her only home? I have seen a photo of her at home tying a shoe. Or maybe it was Barbra Walters, I don’t know!

    • I think it’s art…looks like it’s hanging from decorative ropes. Someone mentioned they thought she had a home in Connecticut…I’d love to see it. I’ll have to see if I can find it online somewhere.

  10. Wow! Is there a word that surpasses opulence?:)
    Based on the size and shape of the rooms, I agree that they may have mixed up the ballroom and music room.
    While it’s way too over the top for me, I couldn’t take my eyes off of those red chairs in the diningroom and the amazing terrace.
    It’s funny that Melissa’s home (at least what they show on TV) seems so opposite. Her taste seems far more understated.
    Great post!

    • I know…they look so plush, don’t they? I was trying to see if the walls in the dining room are pink…I think they may be. I bet this apartment is just awe inspiring in person. I’m sure pictures don’t come close to doing it justice. It’s not my style either, but it is beautiful! 🙂

  11. claudette flanigan says

    The view is absolutely incredible. There is no place like NYC! But the whole apartment is, to me, very gaudy. I used to watch the reality show that she had with her daughter, Melissa. Most of it took place in Melissa’s home and it was so comfortable and not at all “fancy”. Total opposite of her mother’s taste for sure. I don’t blame her for selling this one.

    • Yeah, I was thinking it would be hard to live there, with all the memories of her mother there. One of the articles I read about the apartment said Joan and put it on the market several times over the last 4-5 years so apparently she had been thinking about selling it for some time.

  12. I agree with Linda Paige. In the old days she was extremely funny. Then a couple of years ago we saw her in Vegas and to put it bluntly she was pretty raunchy. And I’m not a prude. I would buy her apartment just for the terrace and view. She has an interesting story about that apartment on Celebrity Ghost stories.

  13. From one Susan to another! It’s not my taste, but if you’re looking for Marie Antoinette, this is it! And, no, I wouldn’t turn it down if it was offered to me!

    But the life of Joan Rivers drives home the point that you can’t take it with you. Joan went for outpatient surgery, and despite her extraordinary real estate and the 150 mil in the bank, she still died. Money and fame only gets you so far. It’s a terrible story.

    But I have to agree that at the end, her humor no longer appealed to me. And, of course, no one should die because of a doctor’s horrendous error. I’m still shocked that she died. Is there not a malpractice lawsuit?

    Perhaps Joan will return as a ghost so she can her gorgeous apartment again. Joan as a ghost would be a howl…pun intended!

    • I think there is a lawsuit. Yeah, what happened to should never happen to anyone…very scary! Joan would be the kind of ghost to play pranks, wouldn’t she? 🙂 She and Mrs. Spencer, the ghost she said visited her each night, would have a grand old time.

  14. And, Susan, one other thought. I’d weep if a Kardashian bought this! Just sayin’…

  15. Joan’s home is truly beautiful! Yes, it is a little much for the average person, but somehow, this seems fitting for her! I have always loved Joan and had the good fortune of meeting her twice and I can tell you she was a very kind and lovely woman! So terrible what happened to her.

    Thanks for the pictures!

  16. Wow, such opulence, no, I’m not surprized that she lived like that. She was expansive in her tastes, it makes sense!!! I’d take it in a minute… you think I could put it on my Visa card????

  17. Thanks so much for the tour!
    Wow…she was a real girly-girl in
    her choices of decorating!
    Wishing you a Happy Valentines Day Weekend!

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