December 23, 2011

'Breakfast at Tiffany's' brownstone on the market

By Laura Vecsey, Zillow

In case it’s possible that anyone in the world has not seen the classic “Breakfast At Tiffany’s,” we’ll try not to blow the secret about Miss Holly Golightly, except to say that the famous character brought to life by Audrey Hepburn comes to New York City to escape her past.

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This iconic New York City brownstone from the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is on the market for $5.85 million.


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In this way, the saga of the classic New York brownstone that was the stage for much of this iconic movie proves that life does imitate art.

It turns out that the current owner of the dapper, four-story building, Peter Bacanovic, recently listed the property at 169 E. 71st Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan because he, too, wants to start a new chapter in his life.

As the former Merrill Lynch broker embroiled in the Martha Stewart insider trading case, Bacanovic has said he would like to move on from the incident and the city where it took place. That puts the building from where Miss Golightly instigated some of the most endearingly mad-cap hijinks ever filmed up for grabs for $5.850 million. Bacanovic, who has spent most of his time in Los Angeles since being caught up in the trading case, bought the property in 2000 for $6.580 million.

Listing agent Robert Browne of the Corcoran Group called the brownstone elegant, with an elegant stoop that is divided into 2 units. Located just off Lexington Avenue, the building is in the prime Upper East Side real estate market.

The upper duplex consists of a sunny living room with wood-burning fireplace and sweeping staircase, powder room, dining room with another wood-burning fireplace and a renovated kitchen with laundry. Upstairs are two bedroom suites each with their own renovated bath, plus a library.

The garden apartment below has a separate entrance with living room that features a fireplace, full bath, kitchen and glass-enclosed solarium with backyard perfect for entertaining.

With many of “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” scenes taking place inside the apartment, it’s impossible for fans of the movie to not try and imagine the exact places where Holly entertained New York socialites in the famous party scene, or where she infuriated Mickey Rooney’s Mr. Yunioshi, or lit a fire in the heart of George Peppard’s Paul Varjak. However, the interior shots for the movie were filmed on a sound stage in Hollywood.

But the exterior shots that illustrated the movie adaptation of Truman Capote’s classic were made quintessentially New York swanky, with shots of Tiffany’s and of the brownstone at 169 71st St.

It is an interesting coincidence that the Brooklyn Heights brownstone home where Capote wrote “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” is also on the market.

Like the building that housed Miss Golightly, the one where Capote rented a garden apartment from 1955 until 1965 exudes style and grace. The five-story Greek Revival at 70 Willow St started out on the market in Nov. 2010 at $18 million, but is now listed for sale at $13.995 million.

A fitting end to the story of these two “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”-related beauties would be for some movie buff to pick up the pair of brownstones as a matching set. Miss Golightly would not protest.

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