The 1085 Saga: Trials & Tribulations While Closing an Estate

1085 in 2009
The Living Room
S. View of Park Avenue
"The Garden"
The Library / Gallery
The Dining Room

41+ Years at 1085 Park Avenue
finally comes to a close.

In a city as big as New York, with 8 million people and their stories to be told, it is hard to imagine this one being all that unique. But few of those 8 million probably had the luxury, privilege, and sheer gift of being able to raise a family, engage three long-term marriages, create and display an art collection, and peacefully take their last dying breath all in the same apartment.

Thanks to the good graces of NYC rent control law, Rudin Management, and paying the rent on time for 496 consecutive months, such gifts were afforded to Estelle at 1085 Park Ave and I know she appreciated them. For better or for worse, she never wanted to move -- and was lucky enough not to have to.

But this was the case during Estelle's life. Sadly enough, everything began to unravel a mere few days after her death.

For anyone unfamiliar with real estate dealings in NYC, let alone rent control law, they can get quite complex. Equally so when it comes to closing a family member's estate & life affairs. But when you put the two together?... well, let's just say it can often lead to a 'rather unfortunate & combustable event'. What my mother never knew happened after she passed is just as well. It probably would have forced her to put down her paint brush, pick up the phone, and engage one battle too many over financial affairs, hiring one lawyer too many to communicate on her behalf. Instead, my sister and I did such things in her absence... for better and for worse.

And sadly enough, this is a quieter story which has yet to fully resolve.



Read more about the 1085 Saga in this May 22, 2009 NY Daily News article:
(click on image below to read full article)

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Personal Note: Having been engaged in the business of real estate in North Carolina for the past 12 years, and having primarily observed parallel family dealings with such in NYC for nearly 20, I can honestly say that the past 18 months have been the most consistently unpredictable, unfathomable, and educational of my [professional] life. What has been engaged here in the final 90 days at 1085 will only seal the deal and inspire continuing to seek a better model of how real estate can and should be practiced, imho.

Increasingly it seems there ought to be an equivalent to the Hippocratic Oath, taken when you buy a property with intent to rent. That and the phone number of the closest mediation center printed at the bottom of all lease agreements. If nothing else, when we stop communicating to defend property rights above human rights, we have lost something very sacred in our culture -- the sanctity of "Home".