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The guest house was designed by Philip Johnson.

Arts and EntertainmentThe guest house was designed by Philip Johnson.

A stock photo of Philip Scalia.

Ronald S. Lauder has sold a jewel box designed by Philip Johnson for over 20 million dollars. There was no listing or whisper listing for the sale, which was an off-market deal, according to one uptown broker. Although he did not respond to the request for comment, he apparently liked the house quite a bit and bought it again in 2000 for $11.16 million.

According to a story in T magazine, the home was commissioned in 1950 by the wife of John D. Rockefeller, who didn't want her modern-art collectioncluttering up their Beekman Place co-op. The Rockefeller Guest House is a small building with two rooms on the first floor and a pond on the second floor. The basement of the house had a bar manned by a butler, but it was mostly an entertaining space. Rockefeller donated the house to MoMA in the 1960's, where she was twice president and the founder of its junior council. Philip Johnson and David Whitney lived there for eight years starting in 1971, after the house was sold by MoMA. The owners asked Johnson to help find a tenant, and the couple took it for themselves. He redecorated his homes but didn't need a kitchen because he took his meals at the nearby Four Seasons.

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