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On Andy Warhol's Birthday, A Look Back at His Real Estate

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Today marks the would-be 84th birthday of Pop Art icon Andy Warhol, who passed away in 1987 and whose work went on to become some of the most celebrated of the 20th century. To honor the famous eccentric, we've pieced together some of the finest real estate to pass through his pale and talented hands, starting with his Montauk estate. Known as Eothen—"at first light," in ancient Greek—the parcel and its collection of casual seaside structures was purchased by Warhol and Paul Morrissey in 1971 for just $225K. Warhol, drawn to grittier Montauk over the well-groomed Hamptons, sought refuge here from the city scene, but instead ended up inviting many stars and starlets to mingle above the rocky cliffs. It was here that the Rolling Stones composed the classic "Memory Motel," inspired by an actual roadside motel in Montauk. House guests included Jackie O, Lee Radziwill, Bianca Jagger, Liza Minelli, Liz Taylor, John Lennon, and fashion designer Halston. After Warhol's death, Morrissey donated some of the land to a nature conservancy and by 2001 was ready to part with the place, for $50M. It lingered on the market for years before finally selling to J. Crew chief Mickey Drexler for $27M in 2006.

? In the last years of his life, Warhol lived in a much more staid neighborhood than many of his fans might expect, at 57 East 66th Street on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Inhabited by Warhol from 1974 until his death in 1987, the 12-room townhouse lies just off of Fifth Avenue and features four bedrooms, a juliet balcony, six fireplaces, central air conditioning, and plenty of quirks. When Warhol passed, executors of his estate found a "secret trap door in the master boxes of wings stacked near a television set, a medicine cabinet filled with makeup tubes and perfume bottles, and women’s jewelry nestled in the four-poster canopy bed." The house was bought in 2000 by then MTV president Tom Freston for $6.5M and by 2008 was back on the market for $35M.

? Prior to moving out on his own in 1974, Warhol spent 14 years living with his mother in another Upper East Side townhouse, at 1342 Lexington Avenue. He was living in the narrow 1880s brownstone when he conceived some of his more recognizable work, like the Campbell's Soup series. Warhol paid just $60K for the 3,000-square-foot house, but by 2011 the house was asking $4.295M, despite the highly trafficked avenue location.

? Some of the places where Warhol worked, rather than lived, have enjoyed the most notoriety, like his famous "Factory" on East 47th Street. Much loved by scenesters of the day—and much despised, apparently, by the landlord—the building that housed the factory was later demolished to make way for an imposing black glass skyscraper. Another of Warhol's artsy ventures was a gay porn theater in the East Village that, surprisingly, was actually restored earlier this year using city funds. However, the greatest real estate-related Warhol legend has nothing to do with a space he owned or leased. The artist was known to have thrown a party in the abandoned subway station beneath the Waldorf-Astoria hotel (above), which was originally built to allow VIP access to the hotel.

? Warhol's real estate magic seems to extend to his close friends as well, like long-time muse Jane "Baby Jane" Holzer, who sold her Upper East Side penthouse for a whopping $14M in 2009, near the bottom of the market. The trouble is, by June of this year, the buyers managed to flip the place for $17.5M. Still, Holzer certainly turned her fifteen minutes of fame into a sizable fortune.

· The Unsold Warhol [NYT]
· Warhol's PriceChopped Montauk Estate (Finally) Sells [Curbed NY]
· 57 East 66th Street [Streeteasy]
· MTV President Splurges on Warhol’s 66th Street Mansion [NY Observer]
· Fame Slept Here [NYM]
· Letter From Andy Warhol's Landlord Asks Him Not to Party [Curbed National]
· Facelift for Funky Fire Escape Building on East Fourth Street [Curbed NY]
· Secret Subway Platform Under Waldorf-Astoria, Revealed! [Curbed NY]
· Warhol Muse's Old UES Penthouse Sells for $17.5 Million [Curbed NY]