Twenty-two years ago, after her husband Edgar's suicide, Joan Rivers decided to turn a crumbling 1903 ballroom in a venerable Manhattan building into Versailles. "When I found it, it was in absolute disrepair. There was a pigeon flying around the living room," says the comic, 77. "I said, 'It's fabulous!'" For two years she restored gilded boiserie, painted blue-sky ceiling frescoes and installed Louis XVI furniture. Last year she put the 5,190-sq.-ft., three-bedroom duplex on the market for $25 million, but Rivers will always cherish it. The pad appears in the new documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
, a look at her 50-year career and superhuman work ethic. "By the time I moved in, I had a whole new life," she says. "This apartment totally saved me. It's funny how things turn around."