Joseph Pulitzer mansion, 11 East 73

11  East 73
Joseph Pulitzer was   one of the most powerful journalists in the United States. Joseph , the son of a grain dealer,   was born in Makdo, near Budapest, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1847 and emigrated to the United States in 1864 as a recruit for the Union Army in the American Civil War. He started working in the publisher business in Missouri and later shifted to shift his newspaper interests to New York City, where he purchased a morning paper, the World, from the financier Jay Gould.

In an effort to further attract a mass readership, he also introduced such innovations as comics, sports coverage, women’s fashion coverage, and illustrations into his newspapers.  The World later became involved in a   competition with William Randolph Hearst’s New York Morning Journal.
When the American Committee for the Statue of Liberty ran out of funds for the Statue's pedestal in 1884, newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer came to the rescue.  Roughly 125,000 people contributed to the completion of the pedestal thanks to Pulitzer's crusade. In thanks, the World published the names of each person who made a contribution (no matter its size).


The  unconcealed sensationalism used by both publishers   during the  Spanish-American War of 1898 led to the coining of the term “yellow journalism” to describe such practices.

Failing eyesight and worsening nervous disorders forced Pulitzer to abandon the management of his newspapers in 1887. He gave up his editorship of them in 1890, but he continued to exercise a close watch over their editorial policies.

In 1891 Pulitzer bought a house at 10 East 55 street, altered by  Mc Keam, Mead and White.  In January 1900 the fire destroyed the house and killed two servants.  Pulitzer hurriedly purchased a lot at 11 East   73 and again hired the same architect Stamford White. Pulitzer was blind at this time. White made plastic model of the new house and personally presented it to Pulitzer. 
Palazzo Pesaro


Parazzo Rezonnico
The house looked like a palace on Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.   The design was based on the two palaces - the Palazzo Pesaro (1682) and Parazzo Rezonnico (1667).  Mc Keam, Mead and White used the Venettio Palace style again in 1906 when they constructed the new building for Tiffany on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57 street. Pullitzer lived in his house less than 7 years . 
He died  in 1911  aboard his yacht, the Liberty, in Charleston Harbor. 

In 1912, one year after Pulitzer's death aboard his yacht, the Columbia School of Journalism was founded.
In 1917 the Pulitzer Prize, an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States, was established by provisions in the will of   Joseph Pulitzer.  Each winner receives a certificate and a US$15,000 cash award (as of 2017).

The Pulitzer sons held the house vacant  for many years- they were  not able to find a buyer.
At last in 1930 the house was leased to the developer  Henry Mandel,  a leading residential real estate developer who hired James E. Casale to design a conversion of the building into apartments that would retain the façade and many of the lavish interiors.

“New Yorker” in its article, published in September  1934 , said:  “This house, designed by Stanford White for the late Joseph Pulitzer, is being turned into seventeen unites of various sizes with some rather extraordinary features. Owners of the 2nd floor duples will ascend to their nest by a staircase faintly reminiscent of the Paris Opera to a door graced by 20-foot marble pillars. Their living room (half of the former drawing room) will have a 22-foot ceiling. Corinthian columns, & gold cherubs over the 20-foot windows. Their Bedroom, kitchenette, powder-room and bath will occupy what was once an ante-room. Rentals from $1,500 for one room to $3,600 for the maisonette”.

In 1930, his sons leased the house  to some investors who planned to replace it with a new apartment building but the Depression made them abandon those plans and in 1934 the house was leased it for 20 years to Henry Mandel, a leading residential real estate developer who hired James E. Casale to design a conversion of the building into apartments that would retain the façade and many of the lavish interiors.
In the excellent book, "Luxury Apartment Houses of Manhattan" (Dover Publications, Inc., 1992), Andrew Alpern noted: ”Some duplex units were created as was a street-entrance into the garden at the west end of the building that led to Pulitzer’s bedroom and study.” Alpern wrote that the major loss of this plan was the salon, which measured 24 by 48 feet with a 19-foot ceiling, and that the former squash court and basement swimming pool were converted into apartments.
Mandel did not like the plan  and returned the property to Pulitzer’s sons.
Three years later, Alpern continued, "the completed venture was sold to the Astor family estate as an investment property."
There are 16 apartments in the building now.   There is one bedroom apartment available for purchase with price tag more than $1.7 mln.