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Fame Slept Here


111 EAST 56TH STREET
The Facts: Two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath, full-floor penthouse co-op.
Asking Price: $5.495 million.
Monthly Maintenance: $15,613.
Agent: Lori Press, Brown Harris Stevens.

She may have set her 1929 novel Cimarron in Oklahoma, but Edna Ferber wrote parts of it on the nineteenth floor of the Lombardy, where she had an apartment next to the composer Richard Rodgers and his wife, Dorothy. According to Julie Gilbert’s biography, Edna Ferber and Her Circle, Ferber at first wasn’t too keen on having “that songwriter” next door, but the chill thawed soon after, and an enduring friendship developed. The terrace their two apartments shared still exists, says listing broker Lori Press, and today, the two units have been combined into one big penthouse. Interestingly, its present owner, Al Tapper, melds both Ferber’s and Rodgers’ worlds: He wrote the music and lyrics for the Off Broadway show Sessions, as well as the baseball-themed National Pastime, which premieres this year in Washington, D.C., and is expected to come to New York in 2012.


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