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The Many Famous Residents of the San Remo, NYC’s First Twin-Towered Building

Back in 1930, acclaimed architect Emery Roth set out to build the first of New York’s twin-towered residential skyscrapers. Towering over Central Park, the San Remo is now home to some of the world’s most coveted apartments.

The San Remo building in New York City, with Central Park and a lake in front
Photo credit: CityFeedback, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The San Remo is the first twin-towered building in New York City, and has become one of the most upscale apartment co-ops in the world.

Just two streets north of the Dakota building sits the San Remo, a luxurious two-towered 27-floor co-operative apartment building in New York City.

Located at 145-146 Central Park West between West 74th and 75th Streets, the iconic building is in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

The twin-tower residential skyscraper with spectacular views of Central Park is home to many past and present famous folks, such as Tiger Woods, Steven Spielberg, Demi Moore, Steve Jobs, Mary Tyler Moore and Rita Hayworth, to name a few. 

Over the years, the San Remo building consolidated its position as one of the most sought-after apartment buildings in the Big Apple. If you’re wondering why, let’s dive right in.

The history of the San Remo building

The current site of the San Remo was once occupied by an apartment building, with the same moniker, between the years of 1890 and 1929.

Taking advantage of the zoning regulations of that time, acclaimed architect Emery Roth set out to build the first of New York’s twin-towered residential skyscrapers. 

The San Remo twin towers, home to some of the city's most exclusive apartments.
The San Remo twin towers, home to some of the city’s most exclusive apartments. Photo credit: King of Hearts, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While the San Remo is topped by two iconic Renaissance-style towers, Roth is also famously known for building the Ritz Tower at 465 Park Ave., the Mayflower Hotel at 15 Central Park West, and the Eldorado at 300 Central Park West, to name a few of his well known NYC buildings. 

Construction on the San Remo began in 1929, weeks before the market crashed and initiated the Great Depression, and the project was completed two years later.

Because of the times, many of the larger units in the building were subdivided for affordability, and all but one of the south tower two-story apartments were divided into single floor units. Both buildings were sold in 1940 for $25,000 over the existing mortgages.

Fast forward to current times, the San Remo is one of the most desirable and expensive apartment buildings in Manhattan. In 1970, the building converted into a co-operative allowing tenants to become shareholders in the corporation that owns the building. 

With its Old World elegance and prime Central Park location, asking prices for San Remo suites range from a minimum of $3 million to a high of $75 million. 

As some of the most sought-after condos in the city, the most desirable are the large units with Park views or tower floors and are typically valued at $2,500–$3,500 per square foot. 

Inside a San Remo apartment that was listed for sale in 2019 for $25 million.
Inside a San Remo apartment that was listed for sale in 2019 for $25 million. Photo credit: Warburg Realty
Central Park views from inside an apartment at the San Remo in NY
Central Park views from inside a San Remo apartment. Photo credit: Warburg Realty

With units that are grand in scale with large entrance galleries, lofty ceiling heights, and stunning prewar details, it’s no wonder that the penthouse suites are priced around $5,400 per square foot.

The biggest celebrities that lived at the San Remo

When it comes to the San Remo, three words come to mind: location, location, location.

And that prime location is the Upper West Side of Manhattan, with walking distance to the Lincoln Center, the MET, the Julliard School, Central Park and the American Museum of Natural History, to name a few iconic NYC spots.

Understandably, many past and present residents of the San Remo have been some of NYC’s VIPs. And here’s a look at some of the most famous celebrities that have lived at the San Remo.

1. Demi Moore and Bruce Willis

In 1990, Demi Moore and then-husband Bruce Willis purchased the penthouse suite in San Remo’s south tower from Robert Stigwood, a film producer and manager for the Bee Gees.

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, two of the most famous past residents of the San Remo.
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, two of the most famous past residents of the San Remo. Photo credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

Spanning 8,000+ square feet, the luxurious penthouse offers three floors of open living space, five bedrooms and 1,500 square feet of wraparound terraces overlooking Central Park.

In 2017, Moore sold the suite for $45 million after originally listing the penthouse at $75 million. Although $30 million less than asking, this continues to be one of the priciest deals ever closed on the Upper West Side.

2. Bono

U2 frontman Bono purchased San Remo’s neighboring penthouse in the north tower from Steve Jobs in 2003.

One of the building's most famous residents was U2 frontman Bono, who paid $15 million for his apartment at the San Remo.
One of the building’s most famous residents was U2 frontman Bono, who paid $15 million for his apartment at the San Remo. Photo credit: Emilio Küffer, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Sunday Bloody Sunday hitmaker paid $15 million for the spectacular suite that has been combined into a two-story unit.

Spanning 3,500 square feet of interior space, the posh penthouse offers 1,300 square feet of wraparound terraces with jaw-dropping views. 

3. Steven Spielberg 

At last count, Steven Spielberg’s real estate portfolio (in the U.S.A. alone) totals at least $200 million. And one of his magnificent homes is located on the 16th floor of the San Remo.

Famous director Steven Spielberg owns a 6,000-sq. ft. apartment on the 16th floor of the San Remo.
Famous director Steven Spielberg owns a 6,000-sq. ft. apartment on the 16th floor of the San Remo. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spanning 6,000 square feet, Spielberg’s two Park-facing units also offer terraces with spectacular views of Central Park. 

4. Diane Keaton

Since the ‘70s, Annie Hall star Diane Keaton owned a 3,100 square foot suite in the San Remo.

Featuring three bedrooms, three baths, a library, oversized kitchen with a breakfast room and office, the luxurious apartment is located in the south tower of the iconic NYC building.

Actress Diane Keaton has held on to her San Remo apartment for decades.
Actress Diane Keaton has held on to her San Remo apartment for decades. Photo credit: es:Ruven Afanador, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Academy Award-winning actress has opened up about her former swanky suite. “It was one of those remarkable apartments,” Keaton told Wine Spectator. “There was a window on every side. Everything was wide open. That was the beginning of my true interest in architecture.”

5. Dustin Hoffman

In 2014, Dustin Hoffman sold his multi-unit apartment at the San Remo for $21 milion.

Spanning 8,000 square feet over three floors, the luxurious San Remo suite covers approximately half of the 15th floor and all of the 16th and 17th floors.

Legendary actor Dustin Hoffman was one of the San Remo building's most famous residents until he sold his apartment for $21 million.
Legendary actor Dustin Hoffman was one of the San Remo building’s most famous residents until he sold his apartment for $21 million. Photo credit: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Boasting four bedrooms, six bathrooms and two terraces, the Academy Award-winning actor lived in the iconic NYC building since the 1970s.

FYI, don’t expect to see the Material Girl at this iconic New York building. Despite what other outlets might say, when fact-checking our resources for this article, we learned that Madonna has been denied residency at the San Remo as well as the Dakota.

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Written by Jenny Schafer

Jenny Schafer is the former senior editor of a high-profile celebrity blog she ran for 10+ years. A proud mom-of-three and resident of Vancouver, B.C., Jenny writes with a keen social consciousness and passion to keep things positive. She has been interviewed by various news sources such as CNN, Zimbio, Mom Spark and was a regular contributor for HerSay.

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