If you’ve ever dreamed of occupying a famous artist’s New York home, now may be your opportunity. The former carriage house in Noho where Jean-Michel Basquiat lived and worked from 1983 to his death in 1988 is on the market for rent. The catch however is that only commercial uses are being considered.
The building, located at 57 Great Jones Street, has a storied history dating back to the 19th century. It was built between 1860 and 1868 as a horse stable for owner Benjamin Bailey. It was later renovated by John A. Dunn, who operated a furniture store and auction house at the address until 1901. In 2012, Village Preservation investigated the building’s history and confirmed that the mobster Paul Kelly, who founded the infamous Five Points Gang, located his headquarters at the New Brighton Athletic Club at the site. An article from 1905 reported that a “desperate fight” in the building had led to several injuries and one death. The building continued to be used for mob activity throughout the 20th century. 57 Great Jones was most recently occupied by the Japanese restaurant Bohemian.
Today, the building is best known for its use as Jean-Michel Basquiat’s apartment and studio. In 2016, Village Preservation installed a plaque commemorating the building as the residence of the Brooklyn-born who was a central figure in the downtown art scene of the 1970s and 1980s. Basquiat’s work challenged conventional standards of high and low art, race, and class, and incorporated graffiti art into more traditional painting styles. He became a close friend and collaborator of Andy Warhol after meeting him in the early 1980s, and together they created several works merging corporate logos with Basquiat’s distinctive style. Those works included Cops (1984) and Untitled (General Electric II) (1984-1985).
Warhol purchased the property at 57 Great Jones Street, along with the building around the corner at 342 Bowery, in 1970. The 342 Bowery building, which Warhol leased to artist tenants, includes several loft-style apartments and is also on the market. Warhol leased 57 Great Jones Street to Basquiat as both a home and a studio. Many of the artist’s famous Neo-expressionist works were created in the space. The building is also where Basquiat died at the age of 27 of a heroin overdose on August 12, 1988. Until recently, the building’s facade was covered with graffiti paying tribute to the artist and messages and tags from Basquiat’s contemporaries, including his tag “SAMO.” Earlier this year, the walls were scrubbed clean, resulting in an unassuming building that reveals little of its historic and artistic past.
The 6,600-square-foot unit has two floors and a basement and is listed by Meridian Capital Group. The asking price is a hefty $60,000 per month for a minimum term of ten years. The space features two “walk-in boxes,” storage and office space on the ground floor, and a loft on the second floor. The space is equipped for a restaurant and a commercial tenant is desired. Meridian Director John Roesch and Garret Kelly are the exclusive brokers on the listing. Roesch told Untapped New York that they aren’t restricting who they are talking to in the commercial sphere, but are targeting food and beverage operators and established gallerists. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s apartment has been on the market since November 2022. See more listing photos in the gallery below.
Next, check out 11 Haunts of Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat