Angelina Jolie and the ghosts of New York’s past

Angelina Jolie and the ghosts of New York’s past

Over the following decades, the building was home to metalworking and kitchen equipment supply companies. Don DeLillo put Great Jones Street in the annals of American literature in 1973, when he named his third novel after the street. The book’s narrator-protagonist, a disillusioned rock star, Bucky Wunderlicklives in an apartment there: “I went to the room on Great Jones Street, a crooked little room, cold as a penny, overlooking warehouses and trucks and rubble.”

Mr. Warhol purchased 57 Great Jones Street in 1970 under the company name Factory Films Inc., according to a report by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. In 1983, as he became a mentor to Mr. Basquiat, who was then a burgeoning global art star, Mr. Warhol rented the upstairs loft from him. In subsequent years, Mr. Basquiat produced works such as “King Zulu” and “Riding With Death.”

“Jean-Michel called,” Mr. Warhol wrote in his diary on September 5, 1983. “He’s afraid he’s just a flash in the pan.” And I told him not to worry, that he wouldn’t be. But then I got scared because he rented our building on Great Jones and what if he’s just a flash in the pan and doesn’t have the money to pay his rent ?

After Mr. Basquiat’s death, the exterior of the building became a Mecca for street artists to pay homage to him, and ever since, the site has been marked by renditions of his crown motif and “SAMO” graffiti.

The Warhol estate sold the building in the early 1990s. After that, as the neighborhood’s gentrification accelerated and nightlife hotspots like B Bar and the Bowery Hotel flourished, a Japanese restaurant exclusively for references without a listed telephone number, Bohemian, occupied the address. It was hidden, like a speakeasy, behind a butcher’s shop.

In 2022, the building was placed on the rental market by Meridian Capital Group for $60,000 a month. Its owner, according to land records, is the reputable property appraiser. Robert von Ancken, whose services have been used by New York real estate families, including the Trumps, the Helmsleys and the Zeckendorfs. Reached by telephone, Mr. Von Ancken clarified that he had purchased the building with his company partnerLeslie Garfield, who died last year, and that he now owns the property with Mr. Garfield’s family.

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Mattie B. Jiménez

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