A Manhattan triplex listed for $9.75 million comes with wood-burning fireplaces, an ivy-walled garden and an aura created by its rich past of hosting the famous—from Henry Kissinger to Angelina Jolie.
The owners, media power couple Tina Brown and Harold Evans, have spent nearly 20 years in the maisonette, using it as a backdrop for intimate conversations about women’s rights, press censorship and other social issues.
“This has been a proscenium, this apartment, for an amazing collection of people,” said Mr. Evans, a writer and journalist who has served as editor of the Sunday Times and the Times in London, publisher of Random House and editorial director of U.S. News & World Report.
The apartment, with six bedrooms and 5½ baths, is in a 1928 redbrick doorman building on East 57th Street. It was designed by the architect Rosario Candela, known for his elegant staircases and spacious hallways, said Kathy Sloane, the broker at Brown Harris Stevens who is marketing the home.
Ms. Brown’s and Mr. Evans’s guests over the years have included former President Bill Clinton, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, actress Helen Mirren, New York Police Department Commissioner William Bratton and his predecessor Raymond Kelly, Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella and Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
Another Nobel laureate was one of Ms. Brown’s most memorable guests: Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for championing education for girls. In town to speak at the United Nations, Ms. Yousafzai celebrated her 16th birthday at their home in 2013.
Mr. Evans recalled a dinner about a year ago when British historian Andrew Roberts had just published his biography of Napoleon. He soon got into a spirited discussion with fellow historian Niall Ferguson and Mr. Kissinger, the former secretary of state.
“Yes, we love to entertain our friends,” said Ms. Brown, previously the editor of Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and the Daily Beast, “but there is always content to the evening, where we try to bring exposure for someone that has something incredible.”
The gatherings often spill into the outdoor garden, a selling point for the couple when they first saw the home. They already knew the neighborhood, having lived about a dozen years on the same block, said Ms. Brown, who now heads Tina Brown Live Media, which organizes forums and summits.
“When I had the children, Georgie and Isabel, I started to hanker so much for a garden,” she said. “I thought about even going back to London.”
Ms. Brown and Mr. Evans bought the home for about $3.8 million and invested roughly $1 million to make it their own.
The 19-by-64 garden was one of their main projects, said Mr. Evans, now an editor-at-large for Reuters. The couple, working with landscape architect Perry Guillot, added a fountain mounted on a brick wall, as well as bamboo and ivy that now climbs the garden walls.
Other changes, led by interior designer Chester Cleaver, included raising the arches between rooms to add a sense of height, Ms. Brown said. The family often would sit in ground-floor rooms with the windows to the garden open, creating that “indoor-outdoor feeling,” she added.
Ms. Brown described the library as her husband’s “man cave.” The room as well as others on the ground floor are lined with built-in shelving.
“Even the dining room we decided to pack with bookshelves,” she said. “We love to be surrounded in our books.”
Both Ms. Brown and Mr. Evans have their own studies, spaces to retreat and write. She converted a second-floor room into her office, where she wrote much of “The Diana Chronicles,” her 2007 biography of the Princess of Wales, and worked on designs for the Daily Beast, a news website that she launched in 2008 and departed in 2013.
Mr. Evans’s study, with cabinets for his stereo equipment and reel-to-reel tape recorder, is where he wrote several books, including “They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine” and “My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times.”
“I loved doing it here,” he said. “This place embraces you.”
Now that their children are grown, Ms. Brown and Mr. Evans plan to move someplace smaller. They intend to entertain there, too.
“I am not going to stop doing what I do,” Ms. Brown said.
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