Joan Didion’s Longtime Upper East Side Apartment Sells for $5.4 Million

Literary icon Joan Didion’s Upper East Side apartment has officially sold, according to the New York Post. The 1928-built co-op unit was listed in January 2023 for $7.5 million, about a year after the famed writer died inside the home at the age of 87. It underwent a couple of generous price cuts before entering into contract in January of this year. Last week, the dwelling finally changed hands in a $5.4 million deal.

Didion and her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, bought the four-bedroom, five-bathroom abode in 1988 and used it as their primary residence. The Slouching Towards Bethlehem author was an active member of the co-op board during her 33-year tenancy in the building. Dunne died in the roughly 3,600-square-foot home in 2003.

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The residence is located just a block from Central Park in the neighborhood of Lenox Hill. It offers picturesque window views of the nearby Gothic Revival-style St. James Church. A split-level living and dining area features herringbone floors and a wet bar. The space is warmed by a wood-burning fireplace flanked by pale blue built-in shelving.

Other highlights include a cozy library den, a home office, and an eat-in kitchen with vintage wooden cabinetry and a high-end double range. A small staff wing connects to the kitchen through a butler’s pantry.

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In 2022, an auction of Didion’s belongings grossed nearly $2 million. Among the most iconic pieces in the 224-item catalog were the writer’s Celine sunglasses, which fetched $27,000. A Victorian-style rattan peacock chair, which Didion was photographed sitting in, sold for $28,000.

Joan Didion in rattan peacock chair in her Upper East Side apartment

Didion seated on her rattan peacock chair in her Upper East side apartment.

Photo: Neville Elder/Corbis via Getty Images

The buyer of the Year of Magical Thinking memoirist’s New York City pad is not publicly known. Whoever they are, they nabbed the final—and perhaps most intimate—piece of the legend’s estate.

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