Though filmmaker Spike Lee is best known for his Brooklyn presencethe house where Crooklyn was shot sold for $400,000 over ask and the Fort Greene brownstone he inhabited in the 90s sold to that controversial dung artisthe actually owns an even more significant property on the Upper East Side. He just put the 8,292-square-foot, 2BR/2BA at 153 East 63rd Street on the market for $32 million, the Post reports, which he originally bought from artist Jasper Johns in 1998 for $16,624,999. (Though the formal deed lists the transaction as being worth nothing, and the rest of public records for the plot are hazy.)
Daytonian in Manhattan has chronicled the long history of the so-called Hatch House, named for the husband of Barbara Rutherford, who married Cyril Hatch in the nineteen-teens. Rutherford's mother bought the property (formerly two horse stables) as a wedding gift for the Hatches.
Architect Frederick Sterner, who at one point had converted or designed essentially all of 63rd Street, is behind the "three-story Spanish renaissance fancy" with "a stucco facade and red-tile roof." Though many of the residences he worked on are no longer in their original condition, notes the Times' Christopher Gray, Lee's is.
The couple eventually divorced, so the house then changed hands and ended up with Broadway producer/agent Charles B. Dillingham as owner, followed by Wright Brothers collaborator and aeronautical engineer Charles Lanier Lawrance and, last but not last, the burlesque dancer immortalized in musical theater fame Gypsy Rose Lee. It eventually made its way to Johns, and became a landmark in 1977. (Here is the full LPC designation report. Warning: PDF!)
Sadly, there are no listing photos yet, except these poor-quality, miniature things from when the place was rented out for $7,000/month in 2009. The AIA Guide calls No. 153 a "picturesque loner in well-crafted stucco" with a "Spanish Baroque portal and decorative fence." Within, all we know is that there's a central courtyard and a fountain, and that the interiors must be grand enough to befit such a provenance. We will add images to this post when we have them.
· Spike Lee puts storied New York mansion on the market [NYP]
· From Gypsy Rose Lee to Spike Lee - 153 East 63rd Street [DiM]
· Barbara Rutherford Hatch Residence (Warning:PDF!) [Landmarks Preservation Commission]
· All Spike Lee coverage [Curbed]
· All Celebrity Real Estate coverage [Curbed]