Greta Garbo’s luxurious Manhattan apartment hits market for $5.95 million

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The longtime Manhattan refuge of Greta Garbo, a fastidiously private early Hollywood star, has hit the market for the first time since the actress bought the co-op apartment in 1953.

Garbo lived in the home for nearly 40 years until her death in 1990, at the age of 84, customizing everything from the pine wall paneling to decorating with furniture and tchotchkes in many shades of pink. Her heirs are selling the three-bedroom home at the exclusive Campanile building along the East River for $5.95 million, according to a listing with William A. Kerr II of Halstead Property, his son, William A. Kerr III, and Brian Lewis.

Beyond her aesthetic tastes, the seven-room home was an expression of Garbo’s lifelong independence. The Swedish-born film star, born in 1905, lived in the apartment alone. She was financially independent, never married and had no children, leaving her apartment, instead, to her niece, Gray Reisfield, according to property records.

“She was the first woman who was depicted as confidant and feminine at the same time,” said her great-nephew Derek Reisfield, a business strategist who also founded MarketWatch. Mansion Global and MarketWatch are both owned by Dow Jones.

“She’s the first modern woman in many, many ways — very independent,” he said.

“It was her sanctuary,” Mr. Reisfield said of the apartment. “She loved the space, and it is all her.”

For example, Garbo’s specifications for the master bedroom were so precise that she conveyed her desired wall color to interior decorator Billy Baldwin by lighting a candle under a piece of rose-hued fabric.

To get the effect, Baldwin covered the walls and her bed’s headboard in patterned Fortuny silk. The buyer will inherit Garbo’s carefully chosen silk wallcover, as well as the glass-mirrored closet doors in her bedroom and the pine wood paneling in which she covered her living room.

She also has left behind bits of her Swedish heritage. For example, among the wood paneling are hand-carved pieces that were once part of a Swedish chest she had dismantled and inserted in the walls, Mr. Reisfield said.

The full-floor apartment has a private elevator, an in-unit laundry room and a large, L-shaped living room with built-in shelves and a balcony.

From the living room, the apartment offers an unobstructed view over the East River, where Garbo could see passing boats that reminded her of her native Stockholm, according to the listing, which The New York Times first reported on.

It’s a place Mr. Reisfield can remember her sitting, perched on her favorite green velvet-upholstered armchair.

“I remember her in that apartment very well. When I finished school I lived and worked nearby, so I would see her often,” said Mr. Reisfield. “We would all gather at my great aunt’s apartment and have a cocktail hour.”

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