The New York building where artist Jean-Michel Basquiat lived and worked between 1983 and his death in 1988 is on the market for rent.
The unit, located in Manhattan’s Noho neighborhood, comprises two floors and a basement totaling approximately 6,600 square feet and is being listed by Meridian Capital Group. The asking price is a whopping $60,000 per month, and the lucky tenant will be locked into a minimum term of ten years.
For some time, the facade of the building was covered with graffiti from those paying tribute to Basquiat, the influential Brooklyn-born artist who was a central figure in the downtown art scene in the late 1970s and ’80s. Earlier this year, the walls of 57 Great Jones Street were scrubbed clean, resulting in an unassuming building that — besides a small plaque — outwardly displays little of its past.
The historic 57 Great Jones Street space was owned by Andy Warhol, who in turn leased it to his protégé. Warhol and Basquiat met in the early ’80s and quickly became close friends. In subsequent years, they collaborated on several works together, including “Cops” (1984) and “Untitled (General Electric II),” in which Basquiat painted over and around Warhol’s ready-made images of corporate logos.
Warhol purchased the property, alongside the building just around the corner at 342 Bowery, in 1970. The 342 Bowery building, which includes several loft-style apartments, is also currently on the market, and will be auctioned by Paramount Realty USA in December with bidding starting at $5.6 million. (Warhol leased out that building to tenants, several of whom were reportedly artists, according to an agent at Compass.)
The 57 Great Jones building had a storied history even before Warhol and Basquiat took over the premises. In 2012, Village Preservation investigated the address and confirmed that infamous mobster Paul Kelly, who founded the Five Points Gang in New York City in the early 20th century, had at one point located his headquarters, the New Brighton Athletic Club, at the site. One article from 1905 suggested that a “desperate fight” at the location had even led to the death of one man and the injuries of several others.
The space, with two “walk-in boxes” and storage and office space on the lower level and a loft on the second floor, is equipped for a restaurant facility and all possible uses will be considered — although Meridian Director John Roesch told Hyperallergic that he would prefer for the next occupant to be an art gallery.
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