Not only did Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Norman Mailer write several of his well-known novels including “The Executioner’s Song” and “Ancient Evenings” while living on the top floor of this landmarked 1840 townhouse at 142 Columbia Heights, the author transformed the space to resemble a ship, complete with a double-height glass and wood atrium and a smooth wood ceiling that recalled a sailboat’s curves. This unique property, now on the market for $2.4 million, spans 1,636 square feet, and features multiple outdoor terraces with sweeping views of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. The sale also includes a separate one-bedroom unit on the third floor.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the author’s son, Michael Mailer, tells us that his father once owned the whole townhouse but turned it into a co-op in the 1970s, selling the lower floors years later before his death in 2007. Mailer outfitted his top-floor home with gangplanks, hammocks and a trapeze to help him overcome his fear of heights. The younger Mailer (one of nine children by six different women, some of whom lived in the house at the same time) now a film producer and director, remembers a childhood in the one-of-a-kind home, with parties frequented by a cast of creative luminaries that included John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Woody Allen.
The nautically themed space is still as iconic as its creator, with the two-story glass and wood atrium and curved wood ceiling very much intact.
Several outdoor terraces offer unparalleled river, bridge and Manhattan views.
The full unit has three bedrooms and two baths. A separate one-bedroom unit is on the third floor, and the fourth floor unit has two bedrooms.
The architecturally unique skylight brings all-day sunlight into the interior space.
The landmarked four-story walk-up townhouse is on a prime Heights block overlooking the promenade and Brooklyn Bridge Park.