In 1959, just before his career was about to take off, Andy Warhol bought a townhouse at 1342 Lexington Avenue near 89th Street and moved in with his mother. “But after three years there, canvases had begun to fill the ground floor apartment, while Brillo boxes and Campbell’s soup cans were stacked to the ceilings,” reports Blouin Art Info. So when a friend tipped him off to a vacant firehouse nearby at 159 East 87th Street, the pop artist saw an opportunity for his first official studio. He wrote a letter to the city and began paying $150/month for the two-story building with no heat or running water (h/t DNAinfo). It’s here that Warhol is said to have created his famous “Death and Disaster” series from 1962-63, and now, more than five decades later, the property is on the market for $9,975,000.
When Warhol leased the firehouse he was already looking for a place in Midtown to serve as his first Factory, and when he found a spot on East 47th Street, he moved out of the 89th Street location just a year later in 1963. Cushman & Wakefield, who has the listing for the 5,000-square-foot building, describes “a unique opportunity that offers a developer a blank canvass to create boutique condominiums, a mixed-use rental or a luxury townhouse on a site that is both rich in history and conveniently located for transportation.” It was built in 1910 for Hook & Ladder 13 and is currently used for art storage by gallery and dealer Wildenstein & Co. Interestingly, last year Warhol’s original lease for 159 East 87th Street sold in the Sotheby’s New York Sale for $13,750.
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Neighborhoods : Upper East Side