Jeff Koons Building Upper East Side Mega Mansion

Jeff Koons with Split-Rocker at Rockefeller Center in 2014. Courtesy of J Grassi/ Patrick McMullan
Jeff Koons with Split-Rocker at Rockefeller Center in 2014. Courtesy of J Grassi/Patrick McMullan.

Jeff Koons has already taken over New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art with a massive retrospective (see artnet News review), but his domination of the city’s Upper East Side won’t stop there. The wildly successful artist has big plans to merge two already-giant homes on East 67th Street into one mega mansion, according to Page Six.

Just as the retrospective has drawn mixed reviews, not all of Koons’s new neighbors are super keen on all the construction. One person complained to Page Six that “they’re always blocking the street with no regard for the neighbors,” and that “we’re practically ready to organize neighborhood protests.”

“It must be nice to not only be an artist but to be your own Medici,” another local renter added cuttingly.

The construction project has been in the works for some time now, as Koons purchased both properties in 2009, having been in contract on one of the properties for two years prior to the sale. He unsuccessfully made play for lot number 9, before successfully nabbing numbers 11 and 13, the latter from the estate of Barbara Rockefeller.

Koons’s initial proposal to gut both buildings, installing a pool, gym, and maids quarters in the newly integrated space, was rejected by the Department of Buildings in 2010. At the time, Richard Olcott of Ennead Architects was listed as head architect.

Last year, the city approved a revised plan from architect Peter Pennoyer (who formerly worked on Keith Haring’s Soho Pop Shop and the Warhol Factory) which will reduce the overall square footage of interior space in the combined properties from 21,726 to 19,325 square feet. A permit for the renovations, which carry an estimated cost of $4.85 million, was issued on April 9.

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