clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Truman Capote was inspired by this $10.5M Brooklyn Heights townhouse

New, 1 comment

The gorgeous, historic home is around the corner from where Capote once lived

Photos by Brown Harris Stevens

A Brooklyn Heights home with a storied past—and a link to Truman Capote—has just hit the market, asking $10.5 million. The home in question is a Colonial-style abode, built around 1830, on Pineapple Street between Columbia Heights and Willow Street. And it appears in the Capote essay “A House on the Heights,” in which he described it (and its neighbors) as follows:

I’m not much acquainted with the proper history of the Heights. However, I believe (but please don’t trust me), that the oldest house, the house still extant and functioning, belongs to our back-yard neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Broughton. A silvery gray, single-wood Colonial shielded by trees robustly leafed, it was built in 1790, the home of a sea captain.

The home where Capote lived (and wrote In Cold Blood), located just around the corner at 70 Willow Street, would be unrecognizable to the author these days; it sold for $12.5 million in 2012, and is in the midst of a renovation that may see the addition of a pool. But the home on Pineapple Street that he admired is in the same condition it was when he lived in Brooklyn.

Truman Capote in Brooklyn Heights in 1958
Photo by David Attie / Getty Images

The same family has owned (and preserved) it for the last 26 years, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the listing. (The current owners are selling it in order to downsize, and the Journal says they’ll be moving to Pierhouse, just a few blocks away.) In a photo of Capote from around 1958, you can even see the gray-shingled home behind him, looking much the same as it probably did in the 19th century—and as it does today.

As for the home’s particulars, it’s an especially wide house for Brooklyn Heights: the south-facing facade measures 50 feet, and there’s an attached garage as well. It spans around 4,000 square feet, with a whopping seven bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, several original fireplaces, and a lovely little outdoor area. But it also has modern conveniences, including air conditioning, a new kitchen, and, well, that garage. (Cars: not so much a thing of the 1830s.)

Capote, meanwhile, wasn’t the only one who thought the home had a nautical vibe (the porthole windows on its sides may have helped, too): the AIA Guide to New York City, in its write-up of the home, says it “reminds us of Nantucket, of all places,” and its current owners have kitted it out with “nautical and military maps.”

Another decorative element: “a 3-foot high, gray-shingled dollhouse that is a scaled-down replica of their house on Pineapple Street,” though no word on whether that’s part of the $10.5 million sale price.