When a home won’t sell, there are tactics sellers can take to stir up interest, including cutting the list price. However, if you’re Joan Rivers, you’re more likely to try something a little more unconventional.

The queen of snark and red carpet hostess made the decision to de-list her gilded New York City apartment and then re-list it on the Upper East Side real estate market with a higher price point. Rivers’ home went from a list price of $25 million to a whopping $29.5 million.

Even in celebrity real estate circles with rising Upper East Side home values, this is not something straight out of the real estate selling playbook.

Then again, Rivers’ penthouse, pictured above, is in a storied Manhattan building, worthy of price-point pushing.

Constructed in 1910, the limestone mansion was built for John R. Drexel and his socialite wife Alice Troth Drexel. It’s the work of Horace Trumbauer, an architect well-known for his classical revivalist aesthetic. The home was converted in the 1930s into apartments. According to previous listing information, one of the apartments in the building was home to Ernest Hemingway for many years.

The surgically-enhanced comedian first listed the luxury penthouse in May 2009, when she planned to move out to the West Coast to be nearer to her daughter Melissa (and to film a reality TV show or two). In August 2009, the home was still on the market when former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi called her broker, offering to rent it for $200,000 a week.

Before he met his violent demise in the popular uprising last year, Gadhafi had been planning to visit the U.S. to address the United Nations General Assembly. Never one to back away from a sticky subject, Rivers said this about the unpopular leader:

I thought it was great. I said I would give half the rent to Lockerbie,” and the other half “to have an exterminator come and clean the apartment when he was done.”

When Gadhafi didn’t end up crashing at the penthouse, Rivers said it “broke her heart.”

The penthouse slipped off the market for awhile at some point in late 2010, but, according to The Real Estalker, has been re-listed in the last week for $29.5 million for the sprawling 24,508-sq ft apartment.

Situated “just steps from 5th Avenue,” Rivers’ apartment features Central Park views from floor-to-ceiling windows. Updated and completely modernized, the home has two master suites, a gourmet eat-in kitchen and three wood-burning fireplaces.

Keeping this place heated, cooled and maintained isn’t cheap — The Real Estalker estimates that “maintenance, common charges and taxes add up to a considerable $20,100 per month,” which means it takes a quarter-million dollars a year to keep the European-style apartment going.

About the Author

Erika Riggs, the Zillow Digs manager, covers home design and trends.

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