Spike Lee Lists Storied New York Townhome for $32 Million


By Laura Vecsey

The director of many of the most daring and controversial movies that confront race in America is seeking $32 million for his East Side townhome, which is anything but ordinary. Spike Lee's home, known as Hatch House (pictured above), is a 8,292-square-foot building that comes with the kind of space, styling and pedigree that helps substantiate its list price.

HBO's Summer 2013 TCA

The Spanish-style stucco at 153 E. 63rd St., New York, N.Y. 10065 was designed by architect Frederick J. Sterner and completed in 1920, then owned over the years by a series of high-profile tenants. William Vanderbilt originally sold land for the home for $85,000 as a wedding gift for his daughter, Barbara Rutherford. Broadway producer and Globe Theatre owner Charles B. Dillingham bought it in 1921. A Wright brothers collaborator and aeronautical engineer, Charles Lanier Lawrance, who later aided Amelia Earhart in flights, bought the place in 1924.

Later, burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee was the owner, known to throw wild parties at the residence. She lived there until 1970. Spike Lee (pictured at right) and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, purchased the residence in 1998 for $16.6 million, taking it off the hands of artist Jasper Johns. Over the years, the couple and their two children filled the 32-foot-wide townhouse with art and rugs.

The three-story building has five bedrooms, original-detail fireplaces and an interior courtyard -– a nice amenity to have in the heart of New York City. There's a library, staff quarters and an elevator.


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