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August 13, 2012

“Just Kids” Brooklyn Townhouse for Sale Was Home to Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe

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Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Patti Smith penned a 2010 memoir about her early years in New York City called "Just Kids."

Typical of this gifted writer, the book evocatively recalls her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, the (eventual) photographer who broke boundaries and who had a profound effect on Smith's own emergence as a genre-bending artist.

Now the townhouse at 160 Hall St, Brooklyn, NY 11205 where the talented but struggling "kids" set up house in 1967 has hit the market. At an even $1 million, the three-unit building is a little bit steeper on the Clinton Hill real estate market scale than Smith and Mapplethorpe experienced.

After the pair met and became soul mates, lovers and co-conspirators scavenging their way through Greenwich Village and lower Manhattan, Smith and Mapplethorpe settled down (temporarily) in the (at-the-time) rundown Brooklyn flat.

Smith writes in her memoir:

We had the entire second floor, with windows facing east and west, but its aggressively seedy condition was out of range of experience. Robert cut a deal with the landlord, agreeing to clean and paint it himself provided we pay only one month's deposit, instead of the required two. The rent was eighty dollars a month. We paid one hundred and sixty dollars to move into 160 Hall Street. We regarded the symmetry as favorable.

The place has changed a bit since then.

The 1901 classic townhouse is 20 feet wide, with 2,640 square feet of space spread among an owner's duplex, a spacious studio and a 1-bedroom unit. The units all have high ceilings, including 11-footers in the owner's duplex, and come with exposed brick and parquet floors.

Photos courtesy of the Corcoran Group.

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