Annie Leibovitz Lists West Village Compound

SELLER: Annie Leibovitz
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $33,000,000
SIZE: 10,202 square feet with 13 fireplaces

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It’s just come to Your Mama’s attention, via the hard work of our unofficial  researcher Hot Chocolate, that world famous and financially beleaguered photographer Annie Leibovitz has put her townhouse compound in New York City’s historic West Village ‘hood on the market with a sizable but probably not unreasonable $33,000,000.

This development may not be such a surprise to celebrity and high-end real estate watchers who surely recall that the celebrity snapping Miz Leibovitz ran into some financial issues a few years ago that just about forced her West Village compound into foreclosure. Several years ago, so the sordid story goes, Miz Leibovitz needed to scare up a toe curling $24,000,000 to cover a myriad of liens, loans, lawsuits, renovation costs and other debts.

Like many bankable artists in a pinch, Miz Leibovitz went to Art Capital Group, a private banking operation that provides loans to artists who often back the loans with their own art collection and future work(s). In Miz Leibovitz’s case, the leviathan loan was collateralized by her significant but heavily mortgaged real estate holdings as well as the negatives and intellectual property rights to every photo she has ever taken. That’s right puppies, every photo she has ever taken.

The brouhaha as settled in early 2010 with a kind of detente. Miz Leibovitz reportedly re-arranged the terms of the loan agreement in such as way as to buy her more time, re-purchased for an undisclosed amount the rights to act as her own “exclusive agent in the sale of her real property and copyrights…within the context of the loan agreement, which shall prevail until satisfied.”

The complex consists, as per listing information, of three distinct but contiguous and at least partially interconnected ivy-covered red brick townhouses that surround a private garden. Property records and previous reports indicate Miz Leibovitz acquired the bulk of the complex in April 2002 for $4,150,000. She paid $1,870,000 for the third piece of her downtown real estate puzzle a few years later, in 2003.

Most if not all of one townhouse was converted and customized for Miz Leibovitz’s studio space and offices. There are soaring ceiling in the main studio, multiple fireplaces, a private office, several smaller studios/work spaces and access to the garden through the English basement where there’s more work space, ample storage and a kitchen. A triplex guest suite with living room, kitchen, and at least one bedroom with a full bath occupies at least part of the second townhouse.

The third townhouse was given over to the photographer’s personal living space and includes—as best as we can surmise from listing information—a pared down but plush parlor level living room with two fireplaces and some of the most marvelous wide plank hardwood floors Your Mama has seen in a long time. Two doors in the living room lead into the formal dining room and a third into a compact but well and expensively equipped kitchen finished with a red leather built-in breakfast banquette, a wall of floor-to-ceiling stainless steel cabinets, marble counter tops, open shelving for daily dishware and direct access to the garden.

The third floor of the main residence is devoted entirely to the master suite and contains a large bedroom with wood-burning fireplace, a large walk-in closet plus several smaller ones as well, a windowed bathroom and a private den that opens into a sun room. There is convenient direct access from the den in the master suite to Miz Leibovitz’s studio. There are four additional guest/family bedrooms and two bathrooms on the top floor—each with a wood-burning fireplace—plus a laundry room and a sky-lit playroom.

The English basement level has a separate entrances and offers one more bedroom and bathroom for guests or a live-in domestic worker, a second laundry room, enviable storage space and a spacious mud room.

As far as we know Miz Leibovitz still retains ownership of her 200-and-some acre country spread country off scenic River Road in Rhinebeck, NY.

listing photos: Brown Harris Stevens

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  1. Kumar Gracia says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Annie Leibovitz lists west village is dewcribed here. Read to know more

  3. SEO Work says:

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wonder what this will do for 80 Washington Place, listed for $31.5MM.

    Lady J

  6. Anonymous says:

    I thought Annie and Susan Sontag broke up way before SS’s death, and that Annie did not actually inherit from her? I thought most of Annie’s financial troubles were misreported???

  7. Anonymous says:

    Interestingly nobody has mentioned the death of her long time partner & the 50% inheritance tax levied on her estate (her partner was very successful in her own right) which explains why she amassed such large debts.

    As for the price, I don’t think it’s crazily priced … the high 20’s should certainly be achievable given what other properties in the area sell for.

  8. Anonymous says:

    10:15 Thanks for the financial info. Eyes bigger than her pocketbook, I gather.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Having never commented here before, I would be remiss, as a long-time reader, not to first thank you for your daily morsel of absurd escapism. A post a day of any substance requires consistency and a deep reserve of wit, and I’m the better for both. So thanks.

    Sycophancy aside, it should be noted that this property is the very reason her finances are in the condition they are… This from the ever reliable NY Post:

    “She started piling up debt with the extensive renovations of two adjacent West 11th Street townhouses, which undermined the foundation of a third, forcing her neighbors to evacuate to a pricey hotel and to sue her.”

    The whole affair has been detailed at great length on the interwebs, but it’s an engaging read nonetheless should anyone have the inclination to seek it out.

    Regarding the home’s price. I suspect she doesn’t anticipate getting 33mm (the tone of the comments section on Curbed borders on indignation humorously), but 28mm to 30mm doesn’t feel out of line. There’s a hedge fund manager (Boaz is done for the year) with a family who will be intrigued by the prime West Village perch (oppo the Spotted Pig, which could be a bit loud late night, but hey), and sheer square footage available… Maybe the Chipotle founder will broaden his holdings?

    If she gets close to ask, it would seem all of her financial woes would drift away, and leave her with enough to snap up a smaller, albeit beautiful, space elsewhere in the neighborhood/Tribeca/etc…

  10. Desert Donna says:

    Love the Hopes doors to the patio. Probably the location of this home is a bit insecure for a 30M plus buyer. I envision waking to homeless in your yard every morning.

  11. Isn’t that the same amount of money Madonna spent on her Upper East Side townhouse ? And I think Madge’s way better than this one ’cause she has 2 (!) car garage inside the house besides is way better located at the Upper East Side…

  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s amazing, but $33 mil seems kind of cheap for all of that and the neighborhood.

  13. Areeba Khan says:

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  14. Aaron Grey says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Gorgeous place. I would definitely buy this.

  16. Anonymous says:


  17. Anonymous says:

    ok, that’s beautiful. i love it!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I presume this might indicate that she is still not out of the woods financially. Anyone know otherwise?

  19. MamasBoy says:

    What a fascinating tale, Mama! Like the boy said, wish there were more photos though…

  20. l'il gay boy says:

    Lovely, but all that ivy scares me a little – coming from someone who knows what ivy can do to a building.

    Although true, I just have to chuckle a little; you do realize this is in the middle of New York City, right?


    With 13 wood-burning fireplaces & over 10,000 square feet of living/work space, $33M seems eminently reasonable to me (wish there were more listings photos). I also love the quirky footprints of the three buildings as it sits on an acute corner of Greenwich & 11th.

    And it is just a couple of blocks away from the Richard Meier triplets, too.

  21. Bob says:

    What am I looking at here – is the entire red brick building in the top photo on the market for 33 million asking price?


  22. Anonymous says:

    Lovely, but all that ivy scares me a little – coming from someone who knows what ivy can do to a building

  23. Anonymous says:

    The math doesnt add up. Her investment is about 1/5 of the asking price now? She did not assemble this in 1990..I say good luck. Who knew there was an artist bank??

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