NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, October 26, 2015, 6:35 AM
Another little bit of New York culture has been lost to the real estate frenzy.
One-time members of Andy Warhol’s inner circle are sad to note that the sign that has for years grandly announced one of his former homes as “The Warhol,” has been scrubbed out by the new owners, a realty holding company.
Warhol lived at 1342 Lexington Ave. with his mother from 1959 until 1974, and painted some of his most famous works, including the iconic Campbell’s Soup cans, in his studio there. His business manager Fred Hughes bought the building at 89th St. — designed in 1889 by Henry Hardenbergh, architect of the Plaza and the Dakota — from the Warhol estate in 1989, two years after the artist’s death, for $ 596,000.
After he took over the space, the sign still stood outside commemorating its important former resident.
But after Hughes’ death in 2001, it was sold to strangers, and after a rapid succession of sales — the latest about five months ago for $ 8.8 million — the sign outside the Upper East Side townhouse has been erased.
One of the late pop artist’s friends and collaborators who noticed that it had been damaged lamented to [email protected] that the building had passed out of the hands of people who were close to the artist.
“It is always sad when time moves on,” the pal said. “But people who inherit things can’t always afford to keep them, especially if they must share among family members.”
Our insider added: “In general, it is just a thing in New York that houses have histories.”
“That the people would do something to remove that sign calling it ‘The Warhol,’ is a point of interest,” said the source.
A second Warhol admirer more bluntly called the new owners “idiots.”
But, true to Warhol’s famous “in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” theory, a friend admitted, “It is just a sign.”
This spring the building was sold to 1342 Realty Holding for nearly $ 9 million.
The company did not respond to a request for comment.