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Live Where They Lived

Hope Hampton
Where: 1145 Park Avenue.
What: A 5,200-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath with an atrium and a terrace.
Asking price: $18.9 million.
Agent: Dan Danielli, Halstead Property.

Following the advent of the talkies, silent-film star Hope Hampton remade herself as an opera singer, and when that, too, ran its course, she became the grande dame of New York high society in the fifties and sixties, earning the nickname “the Duchess of Park Avenue.” (She reportedly inspired the character of Susan Alexander in the movie Citizen Kane.) The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Aristotle Onassis, and J. D. Salinger, who lived half a block away, all frequented her parties, and through the years, the gossip columnists chronicled her many exploits—Hampton’s many “first-nighters” (and the gowns she wore to them); her glamorous sailing trips to Europe (in 1935 and again a year later); and the infamous 1951 burglary of her Park Avenue mansion, wherein the robbers made off with a silver-blue mink, $15,000 in cash, and $300,000 worth of uninsured jewels. They entered through a neighbor’s house, crossed the rooftops, and jimmied a trapdoor to find their way in.

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