If any one place exemplifies New York glamor, it's The Four Seasons restaurant at 99 East 52nd Street. The legendary eatery (and for some, office) is the birth place of the New York power lunch—but it has plenty of fun history, too. It's where John F. Kennedy celebrated his 45th birthday shortly before Marilyn Monroe serenaded him with "Happy Birthday" at Madison Square Garden; where Martha Stewart has hosted numerous Thanksgiving dinners and the venue for Bethenny Frankel's 2010 wedding. ("Three or four half-naked guys went into the pool," co-owner Julian Niccolini told the New York Post.) The elegant décor (like the walls covered in Picassos and the aforementioned 24-foot white marble pool at the center of The Pool Room) have set the scene for amazing, celebrity-infused moments—like when Sophia Loren (below) fell into the pool while dancing around its rim—but that vibe is about to change.
On July 26, the restaurant will hold an auction on select pieces of furniture, tableware, and other iconic objects to make way for the Four Seasons's new style in a new location. Because the interior is an example of prolific modern design by architect Philip Johnson, there are some amazing gems that are about to be up for grabs from the eatery's Pool Room, Grill Room and private spaces. To give you an idea of just how spectacular the seating and accessories are, over 100 different décor elements in the dining space are now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art.
The auctioned items include the Grill Room's tufted banquettes (bidding is expected to start at $2,000 each) and the lobby's Barcelona chairs (to start at $10,000 each), as well as custom Tulip tables with bronze tops ($1,000 each), Brno chairs (also $1,000 each), and a huge selection of tableware, serving carts, and bespoke cookware.
With A-list patrons like Bono, Sofia Coppola, and presidents Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama, we're betting the Four Seasons auction is going to be one star-studded sale.