"I fell in love with a castle in the clouds" said Madame, explaining the reason behind her purchase of a triplex apartment in New York, located on Park Avenue. Its 26 rooms made it ideal, not only for inviting friends and hosting dinner parties, but also for meetings with the Helena Rubinstein executives.
A balcony with a view
Madame bought the apartment on 625 Park Avenue the month after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Because of the weak economy, she managed to buy the place for a meager sum, despite its size and location. The large balcony, which stretched all the way around the apartment, provided a breathtaking view over all of Manhattan. Known as "Rubinstein Hilton", it soon played host to everyone who was anyone in New York. Artists, barons and socialites came to spend unforgettable evenings chez Madame. It wasn't unusual to come across Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, two Hollywood icons to whom Helena Rubinstein offered beauty advice. It was, incidentally, following their first introduction that the beauty pioneer decided to launch a range of makeup especially for films in color.
Opulence and nonconformity
The apartment contained a miscellaneous collection of eclectic artwork. Madame, as much interested in African art as surrealist pieces, displayed them together in the dining room. This style of interior decoration was particularly nonconformist, especially for the era and the social sphere to which the entrepreneur belonged, but it nevertheless won over visitors.
Helena Rubinstein would live on Park Avenue until the end of her life. At 94, doctors advised her to rest in bed for several mornings each week, but instead, she continued to organize business meetings from 9 am. with her son and niece.
Upon the death of Helena Rubinstein, the triplex apartment was sold to the President of Revlon cosmetics, who spent millions of dollars on renovations. A friend of Madame would later remark that "Before, it was opulent and full of life. Now it's so quiet..."