Philosophy & Real Estate (Andy Warhol-style)

The Andy Monument, by artist Rob Pruitt (2011) at 17th Street

Like most college students, I thought I was deep, highly intellectual, and oh-so-wise beyond my eighteen years. Accordingly, in the early 1990s, every weekend, I sat around with the other deep-thinkers of my Midwestern school, drinking from a shared gallon-jug of Gallo Rosé (yes, we had very sophisticated palates), and listened to them talk about existentialism and Nietzschean-concepts, etc.  Every once and a while I’d throw in, “Ummm. Very interesting…”  To tell you the truth, I had no idea what they were talking about and I didn’t like that I didn’t know something. So, in order to be a speaking-part in the next planned cerebral-banter, I went to a used book store and purchased a book, which I had thought would be a quick download, sort of like a smart person’s Cliff’s Notes: THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again).  Yep, I thought that was all I needed to know—to know something, existentially.  It wasn’t, of course, and I don’t think I need to say anymore about that…

But twenty years later, my deep-reading of Philosophy (including The Warhol Diaries and Popism), sure did teach me a few things about Manhattan real estate.  And since, I had my fifteen minutes of blogger-fame (Freshly Pressed) this week, it seemed appropriate to write about the real estate of Andy Warhol, today.

Andy wasn’t really a person who was attached to anything—especially real estate. (No Dwellology for him!) He moved around a lot, for a long time. Most people don’t know this about him, but he was a long-time Upper Eastside dweller (with a brief stint, residing with thirteen roommates, on West 103rd and Manhattan Avenue).  And he was known to have more roommates than any one in Gotham hist-o-ria.  He didn’t have his own pad until after his break-out of Pop Art circa mid-1950s.

33 Union Square West

Before I get into Andy’s personal residences, let’s take a look at his business dwellings: THE FACTORY(s).  That very first—very famous Factory was located at 231 East 47th Street.  Then, in 1968, he decided to move The Factory downtown to the Decker Building, located at 33 Union Square West.   On the sixth floor of this building is where his magazine, inter/VIEW was given birth.  In 1974, The Factory changed locations, again, just a few blocks north to 860 Broadway (third floor).  After this final move, Andy no longer liked the name The Factory; he thought it was “too corny,” for the mid-seventies.  So he instructed everyone to call it THE OFFICE.

Because New Yorkers use every excuse in the BOOK to get away from the OFFICE in August, Paul Morissey (film maker) convinced Andy to co-purchase with him a twenty acre, ocean-front compound in Montauck, known then as the Church Estate.  After their $225,000.00 purchase, it was renamed, Eothen, which means “at first light.” Many, many famous people stayed on this compound, like John Lennon, Liz Taylor, Jackie O, The Rolling Stones—to name just a few. (It sold in 2007 for $27,000,000.00 to Mickey Drexler, CEO of J Crew).

As far as Andy’s personal Manhattan residences, the longest place he had ever lived was a Victorian-styled brick-townhome, located at 1342 Lexington (at 89th Street). He lived  there for fifteen years (1959-1974) with his mother. In 1974 he decided to move, and instead of selling the Lex / 89th home, he agreed to lease it to his business manager, Fredrick W. Hughes (who later purchased it from Andy’s Estate). At the age of forty-six and until his death, Andy lived at 57 East 66th (It was closer to his favorite store, Bloomingdale’s).

In 1968 Andy wrote in an exhibition catalog of his work: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”  I don’t think that’s true.  I think we have multiple mini-celebrations of 15 minutes—for each little part of our lives—hobby, work, and so on.  I know I’ve had my 15 minutes for music (curtain calls of Brava), my 15 minutes for motherhood (on CBS The Early Show in 2006), and now, I can add my 15 minutes for blogger to the list via Freshly Pressed.  (Badump bump!)

Back to Manhattan real estate: If you’d like to purchase Andy Warhol’s home, located at 1342 Lexington Avenue, you can!  It’s on the market right now for $4,295,000.00.

(Click HERE for the details.)

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.”

Andy Warhol, THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol (pg. 92)

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One thought on “Philosophy & Real Estate (Andy Warhol-style)

  1. For all we do know about Andy Warhol it seems to be that he was a home-body at heart and, while maybe not attached to anything, he was certainly attached to his many wigs. Where have they all gone I wonder?
    Well done and congratulations on your 15mins x 3 and I trust you are still enjoying your music, writing and of course, your children!

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