Death at Larry Gagosian’s New York Mansion Sparks Investigation

The deceased worker was helping to complete a $70 million, four-year redesign.

Larry Gagosian

Larry Gagosian.
Photo: Patrick McMullan.


An employee of Koenig Iron Works was installing a plate under a second-floor balcony at Larry Gagosian’s Upper East Side mansion last weekend when he fell from a ladder. The worker was rushed to a Manhattan hospital after suffering a heart attack, multiple broken bones, and internal bleeding. He died on March 22.

The workers were reportedly rushing to complete a $70 million, four-year redesign of Gagosian’s 20,000 square-foot megamansion by starchitect Annabelle Selldorf, which will include a screening room, rooftop pool, and garden.

An on-site source claimed that Gagosian’s estate manager, Dana Stanley, “was threatening liquidated damages if they didn’t finish up by the end of this month.”

Despite this claim, there is no confirmation that the urgency to complete the project played a role in the accident. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent inspectors on Thursday morning to interview contractor Steve Fetner of Bernsohn & Fetner, as well as several workers who were on site at the time of the fatal fall.

The former Harkness Mansion, now owned by Larry Gagosian, where the accident took place. Photo: Property Shark

The former Harkness Mansion, now owned by Larry Gagosian, where the accident took place.
Photo: Property Shark

OSHA reported that they were not notified of the tragedy, despite the fact that employers are required by law to report to them within eight hours of any on-the-job death.

A spokesperson for the organization said: “OSHA’s Manhattan office began an inspection this morning. The inspection will seek to determine whether or not there were any violations of workplace safety and health standards in connection with this incident.”

“I was deeply saddened to hear of this tragic accident” said Gagosian in a statement earlier this week. “My deepest sympathies go out to his family.”

Gagosian purchased the property from J. Christopher Flowers, a private equity investor, in 2011 for $36.5 million. The property has been under construction ever since. While the historic limestone facade has been kept in place, the interior is being rebuilt from the ground up (see Is Larry Gagosian Readying for Retirement?).

Gagosian was not available for further comment at press time.

Last May, a fire broke out at Gagosian’s Hamptons estate, though luckily no one was injured (see Fire at Larry Gagosian’s Hamptons Estate).

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