Selling Andy Warhol's First Studio for $10 Million

Andy Warhol’s first studio in New York is up for sale through real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield for $9.975 million. The 5,000 square-foot studio located on 159 E. 87th St. used to be a firehouse which Warhol rented in 1962 for $100 a month. When Warhol first rented the studio, it lacked heating and running water. Nevertheless, the real estate firm is quick to diminish any concern of its functionality by marketing it as “a blank canvas to create boutique condominiums, mixed use rental, luxury townhouse, or community facility/medical use.”

Andy Warhol's first studio in New York City, now on sale for $10 million
Andy Warhol's first studio in New York City, now on sale for $10 million.

The Studio's Legacy 

For art lovers, this space holds a strong historical pull. It was in this studio in which Warhol created his “Disaster” series. This was also the studio which preceded the iterations of The Factory, a symbol of Warhol’s humbler beginnings. The 2 years Warhol spent in this studio also coincided with a major tragedy in American history. In 1963, after President Kennedy was assassinated, Warhol’s assistant told New York Magazine “I remember when Kennedy was shot, we went back to the firehouse and made a silk screen of Dracula biting a girl’s neck.” Much of Warhol’s nascent fascination with death, fame and repetition can be traced back to this period in his life.

Andy Warhol Green Disaster #2 , 1963 Silkscreen painting
Andy Warhol Green Disaster #2 , 1963, silkscreen painting

Andy Warhol 16 Jackies, 1964 Acrylic, enamel on canvas
Andy Warhol 16 Jackies, 1964, acrylic, enamel on canvas

The Studio Currently 

Currently, the studio is used for storage by art dealer Wildensten and Co.  The original paper lease for the space, signed by Warhol, sold for $13,750 at Sotheby’s in 2013. We can only imagine estates associated with Warhol continue to soar in value. For those interested, you can learn how to sell Warhol works.

Andy Warhol's fist lease agreement as sold by Sothebys
Detailed image of the first lease agreement Andy Warhol sold by Sothebys

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