The walls at 740 Park finally talk
By Ellen Florian Kratz

(FORTUNE Magazine) – OGLING OTHER PEOPLE'S REAL ESTATE has become the national pastime. But for jaw-dropping apartment porn, it's hard to beat Michael Gross's description of corporate raider Saul Steinberg's place at 740 Park Avenue circa the '70s. The apartment had, "depending on who was counting, anywhere from 23 to 37 rooms." There were 14 bathrooms, a billiards room, a porcelain storage room, terraces, vast entrance halls, and so on. But Gross's 740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building doesn't stop there. A former gossip columnist for the New York Daily News, Gross traces the history of this fabled 75-year-old edifice and its inhabitants, who have included John D. Rockefeller Jr., Jackie Onassis, Ronald Perelman, and Henry Kravis. So husbands leave wives, wives leave husbands (sometimes for other women), a son is kidnapped (or, perhaps, fakes the abduction in cahoots with a gay lover), but all of them move through rooms of impossible luxury. At what other address, after all, would a child set out to do some Halloween trick or treating and return home with caviar and canapés? -- Ellen Florian Kratz