Although Jackie Kennedy’s parents, John V. Bouvier, III and his wife, Janet only lived in their New York 740 Park Avenue apartment for six years, it was her grandfather, James Lee, who developed the building in 1930. Aside from its illustrious list of owners over the years, the building’s most interesting feature is the ownership requirement that potential buyers prove $100 million in liquid net worth. Some of its current and past residents include David Koch, Stephen Schwarzman, Vera Wang, Elizabeth Swig and William Zeckendorf.
Designed by Rosario Candela, the project was completed just as the country was entering the Great Depression, and suffered serious financial difficulties for years after the Depression obliterated much of the old money. Finally by the 1980s, the definition of elite society was beginning to change from class privilege to earned privilege, ushering in a different type of wealth, which the former old elite slurred as “new rich,” indicating money minus couth.
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