February 28, 2013

Literary open house in Manhattan


I’m not sure that you’d need a book signing to attract people to see this home, but it’s a cool idea nonetheless.

The New York Observer ran an article yesterday about an innovative way to bring in people to a real estate open house: combine it with a book signing! Real estate executive Corinne Pulitzer had the idea to help sell a beautiful house on the Upper East Side; she decided to invite brokers to the home for an open house where they could meet photographer Evan Joseph and get a signed copy of his book, New York: Then and Now.

It’s definitely a cool, original idea to bring in a literary element to something like a real estate open house, though certainly not something that would work for every home (I, for example, would feel silly trying to host a book event in my Brooklyn studio, where the author would have to take the one comfortable chair, and everyone else would have to sit on the bed or the floor). Pulitzer acknowledged this when she said that she only adds attractions like this to her open houses “when it’s appropriate,” and a marriage between a book about New York’s architectural history and a beautiful historic home does seem like a perfect match.

The townhouse in questions is pretty magnificent—at six stories, it dates back to 1866 and is listed at $22.8 million by Douglass Elliman Real Estate. Elliman features some stunning photos of the home, including spacious interiors, a garden, and a kitchen that looks well-appointed but somewhat narrow (this is Manhattan, after all).

The Observer’s Jordyn Taylor checked out the open house last Thursday and chatted with Joseph, who praised the combo event as “a lovely idea… This home [is] on the national register of historic places, and is a part of old New York… It seems to have been a good match. So I [didn’t] say no.” The house’s current owners, George and Antonio Pavia, were pleased to have him there as well, given his extensive knowledge from years of work as an architectural and interior photographer. Mrs. Pavia said of Joseph, “He really knows his stuff. He was obviously a kindred spirit, without a doubt.”


Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.