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Garbo's Apartment in New York
- By Patrick Stutz -


In October 1953, Greta purchased this seven-room apartment. It is located on the fifth floor of the Campanile at 450 East Fifty-second Street in New York/USA. Greta said that she had a hard time getting this apartment. She told a friend that they don't like actresses in this building. Her friends George and Valentina Schlee lived on the ninth floor. They may have helped her to get the apartment.


The flat was located ideally for Garbo. Situated at the end of a rare Manhattan cul-de-sac. With and unobstructed view up and down the East River. The building had a list of colourful residents, long before Garbo arrived in 1953. The 14-story, brown-brick building is a cooperative and has only 16 apartments and a pool.

Garbo was in the middle of Manhattan, any place was near and reachable by foot. Lexington and Madison were just a few blocks away. The Museum of Modern Art was very close and Central Park in easy reach. A cul-de-sac must have given her an additional feel of protection. Any person, following her from her many walks, would have been easily spotted by her when she turned into her street.

After years of wandering between two continents, it was time to settle down. “I had a hard time getting this apartment,” she told a friend. “They don't like actresses in this building.”

Yet she had an unbeatable inside connection: George and Valentina Schlee lived on the ninth floor. The building that Dorothy Parker termed Wit's End when Alexander Woolcott and Edgar Kaufman lived in it is located in midtown Manhattan at the eastern end of Fifty, second Street. Turning on to the street as it pro ceeds from First Avenue to the East River, one is reminded of similar neighborhoods in Stockholm; it is, at once, secluded and at the center of things.

The Campanile's newest tenant would take great pleasure in watching the river traffic from her living room window. The quiet cul-desac is dotted with high-priced cooperative buildings. Greta's investment of $38,000 in 1953 was worth well over $1 million in the mid 1990s.

Furnishing and decorating the apartment to fulfill Garbo's concept of comfortable elegance would take time.

Location of the Flat
Layout of the Flat
Inside the Flat
Neighberhood of 450 East 52nd Street
They said...
Gray Horan on Greta Garbo

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