Long before the Ghostbusters made an abandoned fire station their headquarters, artist Andy Warhol did it first. And now, the New York City firehouse that Warhol made his own back in the early 1960s has been sold to the tune of $9.98, million according to a report in Artnet News.
Incredibly, Page Six reports that when Warhol occupied the East 87th street Hook and Ladder Building in 1962 as a makeshift studio and clearinghouse for his sometimes massive works of art, he paid only $150 a month to rent the 5,000-square-foot space. It was put up for sale more last April, after having in the meantime fallen in the possession of disgraced billionaire art dealer Guy Wildenstein, recently sentenced to two years in prison on charges of money laundering and tax fraud.
As pop-art legend has it, Warhol had to move his expanding artistic operation to the firehouse after his works grew too expansive to fit in his mother's nearby apartment. After moving in, he stayed for about a year, eventually moving to his Midtown "Factory" digs that would become his lasting base of operation in the imagination of the public. But he made good use of his pre-Factory time, creating (among other things) his still-relevant series of works Death and Disaster while based out of Hook and Ladder.
The space was sold, as per the real estate firm that handled the sale, as "a blank canvas to create boutique condominiums, mixed use rental, luxury townhouse, or community facility/medical use." What the building's new owner plans to do with the space is not known, but it will certainly have to be something pretty interesting to leave a patch of Warhol's artistic legacy.