SELLER: Michael Cunningham
LOCATION: New York City, NY
SIZE: 1,300 square feet, 1 bedroom, 2 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Once again we have our unofficial (and unpaid) aide de camp Hot Chocolate to thank for turning up the airy, art- and book-filled New York City co-operative apartment of Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and screenwriter Michael Cunningham, now on the market with an asking price of $1,595,000.
Mister Cunningham, an accomplished scribe who currently teaches writers how to write at Yale, is perhaps best known for his 1999 book The Hours, later made into an Oscar-winning movie with Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. More recently Mister Cunningham published more novels—Specimen Days in 2005 and By Nightfall in 2010—and in 2007 he co-wrote the screenplay for Evening, a film adaptation of a late 1990s novel of the same name by Susan Minot that featured a slew of famous lady actors including Toni Collette, Meryl Street, Glenn Close, Claire Danes, Vanessa Redgrave and the late Natasha Richardson.
Property records Your Mama peeked at and poked around proved a wee bit incomplete so we don’t know exactly when Mister Cunningham—along with his long-time domestic partner, a psychoanalyst and author—purchased the updated and upgraded apartment near New York’s bustling Union Square or how much they paid. There is some evidence in the property records they’ve owned the airy, top-floor aerie since at least 2004.
Current listing information reveals the light-flooded urban residence measures approximately 1,300 square and the floor plan included with marketing materials (above) shows it’s currently configured as a pretty damn deluxe one bedroom spread with two bathrooms. One bathroom was all done up and did over as a wet-room with heated concrete floors, honed tile on the walls, a postage stamp-sized sink and a narrow, tower of bookshelves conveniently nested into the wall next to the terlit. The other bathroom, larger and with two gigantic windows, does curious double duty as a library with a soaking tub set into a bamboo and marble plinth and walls lined with built-in book cases. Your Mama can certainly understand why people keep reading material in their poopers and we’ve definitely heard “library” used as a silly euphemism for the crapper, but Mister Cunningham’s bookshelf lined bathroom takes the expression to a whole other level that we’ve never considered.
Anyhoo, a compact foyer steps up to a lofty, L-shaped kitchen/lining/dining space lined with black ink-stained hardwood floors, glass pocket doors, and half a dozen over-sized, sound-proofed and pane-free windows on two walls that allow for long eastern and southern views over the water towers and roof tops down to the new World Trade Center. The furnishings are decided eclectic and literary salon-friendly with a luscious seal grey silk area rug and variety of mis-matched sofa and chairs accented with animal prints and (what appears to be by may not actually be) an actual animal skin.
The floors switch to polished concrete in the galley-style, center island kitchen expensively finished with stainless steel and bamboo cabinetry, stainless steel counter tops and a full complement of apartment-sized, commercial-style stainless steel appliances that includes a glass fronted Sub-Zero fridge/freezer that probably costs more than a fully loaded Kia and makes Your Mama swoon with appliance envy. An adjoining walk-in pantry is large enough to accommodate a side-by-side washer/dryer set up, a true luxury in a downtown Manhattan apartment.
The various components that comprise the master bedroom spoke off an unusually spacious entry vestibule/dressing room and include two closets (one a walk-in), the two aforementioned bathrooms, and a long, skinny bedroom with three gigantic windows including one that faces north and frames unimpeded, head on views of the Empire State Building.
Current listing information shows the modern-minded co-operative apartment has 12.5-foot ceilings and is equipped with a central climate control, security and sound systems. The boutique-sized building offers a newly renovated lobby and a roof deck. Maintenance and common charges are listed at a not inconsiderable $1,929 per month.
Property records indicate Mister Cunningham and his psychoanalyst man-mate also own at least two tiny (and possibly combined) one bedroom and one bathroom bay front condominiums in (super gay and drop dead gorgeous) Provincetown, MA bought in the early Aughts for $240,000 apiece.
listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran