Harper Lee’s NYC apartment lists 6 years after her death

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The listing for this one-bedroom Upper East Side rental unit doesn’t describe much, but the history of this apartment could fill the pages of a book.

The late Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Harper Lee — best known for her 1960 title “To Kill a Mockingbird” — kept this home, unit 1E at 433 E. 82nd St., as a New York City perch for decades. On Tuesday, according to a StreetEasy listing update, it hit the market asking $3,150 per month — and it appears to be the first time the dwelling has sought a new tenant since the reclusive Lee died nearly six years ago.

The listing agent of the unit, Donald Sheffey of Level Group, would not comment for this story when reached by The Post. Neither the brokerage nor the building’s property manager returned messages seeking additional comment on this listing.

The late writer Harper Lee kept an Upper East Side rental apartment for decades, which just hit the market for $3,150 per month.
The late writer Harper Lee kept an Upper East Side rental apartment for decades, which just hit the market for $3,150 per month.
Courtesy of Realtor.com

In 2016, the week of Lee’s death at age 89 in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala., The Post reported that Lee moved into this building in the late 1960s, but hadn’t occupied the apartment since 2007 after having a stroke, which left her with vision and hearing problems. Still, between 2007 and her death, she was up to date on her rent — at that time an unusually low price of less than $1,000 per month — and had recently renewed the lease for two more years.

She first moved to the city in 1949 to work as an airline reservation agent — writing in her spare time until two friends gave her enough money to pursue it full-time. Before this apartment, she lived across East 82nd Street in a building whose demolition led her to move into this other 82nd Street address.

The one-bedroom, one-bathroom dwelling is 600 square feet.
The one-bedroom, one-bathroom dwelling is 600 square feet. Lee paid an unusually low price for it, less than $1,000 per month, and was up to date on her rent at the time of her death in 2016.
Courtesy of Realtor.com

As described in the listing, the 600-square-foot unit has one bathroom, hardwood floors, an open kitchen with several small cabinets for storage, a living and dining area and rear-facing windows. The listing images show those windows look out to views of a leafy courtyard.

The building additionally has an elevator and laundry facilities.

The apartment is at 433 E. 82nd St.
The apartment is at 433 E. 82nd St.
Angel Chevrestt

It’s not immediately clear why the apartment remained vacant and off the market for years. In 2016, the live-in property manager, Steven Austern, told The Post he had the legal right to cut Lee’s lease and list the apartment, but it’s a step he couldn’t take.

“She was a personal friend of mine,” he said at the time.

Lee was simply identified as "Lee - H" on the building's buzzer system.
Lee was simply identified as “Lee – H” on the building’s buzzer system.
Angel Chevrestt

Lee was also known as a friendly neighbor in the building, reportedly leaving the New York Times Magazine on a lobby table every Sunday morning after finishing the crossword puzzle.

“There was never an empty box,” a neighbor said.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Lee also published "Go Set a Watchman" in 2015.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Lee also published “Go Set a Watchman” in 2015.
Getty Images

“To Kill a Mockingbird” to this day remains a respected work of American literature, famously featuring a white lawyer named Atticus Finch who unsuccessfully defends a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman, told from the voice of his daughter Scout. Fifty-five years later, in 2015, Lee published “Go Set a Watchman,” her second book that included the same characters from the previous title. As opposed to “To Kill a Mockingbird,” written at a later date, “Go Set a Watchman” shocked readers by portraying an Atticus Finch with different racial views — that black people in the south were not ready for full civil rights — that left Scout in disbelief.

Lee reportedly always turned down interview requests from the media in an effort of avoiding the buzz of another book. She spent her final years in an assisted-living home. In other chapters of her life, Lee tried writing at least two other books, but scrapped them.

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