Columbia University president and First Amendment scholar Lee Bollinger has picked up a three bedroom apartment in the landmarked Beresford on Central Park West for $11.7 million, according to city records.
The sale for the 10th-floor apartment, with views of Central Park and about a 40 minute walk from Columbia, was recorded on Friday. The deal was brokered by Deborah Kern of the Corcoran Group, which had the property listed at $12 million.
Currently configured as a two-bedroom with staff suite, the apartment, which was designed by architect Alan Wanzenberg, features a grand living room with marble-mantel fireplace, a library with custom-shelving and bar with under-counter refrigerator draws, a windowed formal dining room, and a main bedroom with walls covered in a Prelle fabric designed by Art Deco champion Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann.
The home also includes a powder room with a 1920s-style “French iron and alabaster ceiling fixture, custom mirror and metalwork” and a bespoke satinwood office with a pull-out, expandable desk, according to the listing.
Bollinger has been president of Columbia, where, according to tax records he earned about $4.5 million in 2018, since 2002. There, he oversaw the school’s expansion into West Harlem, with its Renzo Piano-designed Manhattanville campus.
He also teaches the class “Freedom of Speech and the Press” to undergraduate students at Columbia, and has worked on a number of books on that subject, including 2010’s “Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New Century,” which he wrote, and 2021’s “National Security, Leaks and Freedom of the Press: The Pentagon Papers Fifty Years On,” which he co-edited with Geoffrey R. Stone.
He is listed in city records as residing in the Columbia-owned President’s House, a 6-story, nearly 17,000-square foot space on Morningstar Drive.
The former president of the University of Michigan was the director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2007 to 2012, and served as its chair from 2010 to 2012.
His wife, Jean Magnano Bollinger, is also listed as a purchaser of the home.