Barack Obama’s Old Rent-Controlled Apartment is on the Market for $1.45 Million

An apartment once inhabited by the 44th president of the United States is on the market, but you’ll have to pay a wee bit more than Barack Obama did in 1984.

Obama rented the walkup fourth-floor apartment at 622 West 114th Street in the mid-1980’s right after he graduated from Columbia. (He also lived on 109th during his time at Columbia and brokers have advertised that fact heavily in listings there.) David Maraniss described the 114th Street apartment in an article for Vanity Fair about a romance Obama had when he was 22.

A few weeks into January 1984 they were seeing each other regularly on Thursday nights (when she would be up in his neighborhood, finishing one of her Bank Street classes) and on weekends. He was living then as a boarder in a fourth-floor walkup at 622 West 114th Street. It was a rent-controlled three-bedroom apartment. She remembered how on Sundays Obama would lounge around, drinking coffee and solving the New York Times crossword puzzle, bare-chested, wearing a blue and white sarong. His bedroom was closest to the front door, offering a sense of privacy and coziness. Genevieve described it in her journal this way: “I open the door, that Barack keeps closed, to his room, and enter into a warm, private space pervaded by a mixture of smells that so strongly speak of his presence, his liveliness, his habits—running sweat, Brut spray deodorant, smoking, eating raisins, sleeping, breathing.”

The apartment has since gone co-op and been renovated, so it may not smell like Brut and raisins anymore, but there’s clearly greatness in those walls. It’s up to you whether that greatness is worth $1.45 million.

See the listing here.

NEWS | 12 comments | permalink
    1. Hope says:

      I would love to see them rename that block on W. 114th St. after Barack Obama like they’ve done so many times here for other great residents like Miles Davis, Edgar A.Poe, Norman Rockwell, Duke Ellington and others. Barack Obama Way, please!

    2. Joe Rappaport says:

      I’d vote for the block between Amsterdam and Columbus on 109th, where Obama first lived, actually. In one of his books, he describes his first night on the block, when his roommate wasn’t home and he writes that he slept on the street. It’s compelling.

    3. Albert says:

      Christine – True, but:
      “ The Board may also in its discretion, grant a naming where the proponent sets forth a rationale which, although not falling precisely within these guidelines, [e.g. that the honoree be deceased] demonstrates extraordinary and highly acclaimed accomplishment or involvement linked to CB12M to such an extent that it meets the spirit of these guidelines.”

    4. RM says:

      As a former Columbia U graduate student who also lived in this sadly roach infested, yet loving building I would only add that it is a six story elevated bluilding

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