Norman Mailer’s famous Brooklyn Heights apartment made headlines when his children sold it for $2.5 million back in 2011, and now the Brooklyn Heights townhouse down the street where he apparently also had a “private writing aerie” is poised to break neighborhood records, having hit the market for $16 million.
The building sits at 192 Columbia Heights, right up the block from Mailer’s former home at 142, and the Times notes that his former writing room (dubbed a “writer’s nest” by Brooklyn Heights Blog) in the home is now a gym:
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According to information provided to the sellers, Mr. Mailer’s private writing aerie was at the back of the fifth floor: its four windows face west with panoramic vistas of New York Harbor. The oversize room is now used as a home gym with machines that, if the buyer so desires, will stay behind along with more vintage accents like chandeliers and a mahogany-and-marble “entry piece” at the base of the walnut-and-cherry staircase.
Of the building’s insane price tag, a broker explained, “It is a magnificent 25-foot-wide townhouse in magnificent condition. There are probably only five or so like it, and even fewer that are in move-in shape.”
The high asking price probably has more to do with its views and 1,300 square foot outdoor space than its association with Mailer (Curbed writes that the place includes “three working fireplaces with period mantels, floor-to-ceiling bay windows, a walnut-and-cherry staircase, original oak parquet flooring, and walnut wainscoting,” too) but it’s also interesting to note that in 2012, a building in the area with a garden apartment once inhabited by Truman Capote went for $12.5 million, and just a couple of weeks ago, Arthur Miller’s children sold the family’s Brooklyn Heights apartment for $2.4 million. Well, on the small off-chance you can’t afford to snap up one of these buildings for the sake of literary history, you can at least still walk by and gawk at them. Really, it’s almost the same thing.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.