Manhattan Condos - New Developments - Conversions - Resales: Nora Ephron's Love Affair with her UWS Apthorp Apartment

Nora Ephron's Love Affair with her UWS Apthorp Apartment

This week the great writer Nora Ephron died. The Apthorp on the Upper West Side is one my favorite pre-war buildings in Manhattan as evidenced by my many blogs about Apthorp Apartments.

I described it's iron gates, its monumental tunnel like entrances, and its impressive interior courtyard and called it an elegant apartment complex.


Apthorp Apartments converted to condominiums.

The landmark 1908 Upper West Side building has two addresses

390 West End Avenue and 2207 Broadway between west 79th and west 78th streets

Nora Ephron wrote a fabulous piece in 2006 Moving-On in The New Yorker. She wrote about her love affair with her 5th floor, 5 bedroom apartment. The rent was $1500/month rent stabalized but she had to pay $24,000 "key money" to the former tenant to get the apartment.

"In February, 1980, two months after the birth of my second child and the simultaneous end of my marriage, I fell madly in love with a huge apartment on the Upper West Side. It was on the fifth floor of the Apthorp, a famous stone pile on the corner of Broadway and 79th Street.

The apartment had beautiful rooms; high ceilings; lots of light; two gorgeous fireplaces; and five bedrooms. I was planning to live there forever. Till death did us part. All stories about love begin with a certain amount of rationalization. After a few weeks, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I believed that at the lowest moment in my adult life I'd been rescued by a building."

It seemed to me that if I lived in the building for twenty-four years the fee would amortize out to only a thousand dollars a year, a very small surcharge. I mean, we're talking about only $2.74 a day, which is less than a cappuccino at Starbucks. Not that there was a Starbucks then. And not that I was planning to live in the Apthorp for twenty-four years. I was planning to live there forever…."


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Comment balloon 8 commentsMitchell J Hall • June 27 2012 06:35PM


Amazing writer and filmmaker........she will be missed.  As for the Apthorp Apartments, wonderful building and location.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) about 7 years ago

That is a lovely tribute to the building.  She was such a fabulous writer and role model.  I already miss her and have always been amazed by her.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 7 years ago

What a great tribute to the building and how it helped her at an emotional low-point in her live. In 1980, she was divorcing her second husband, Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 7 years ago


I have certainly enjoyed Nora Ephron's writing.  She was an artist.  In reading her description of this apartment, I felt like I was in the room beside her, and I loved her amortization of the key money at $2.74 a day, and comparing it to a then non-existent Starbucks.  Thank you for sharing her version of a "pile of stone".  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 7 years ago

Mitchell:  Nora Ephron penned such a tribute to this beautiful building.  But even more so, she penned a tribute to the love and deep connection that Americans can have with our homes.  As much as this recession has hurt us dollar-wise, it's not succeeded in killing that love and connection we feel or seek for a "home" to call our own.  Could anyone have expressed that any better in fewer words than Nora Ephron??


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) about 7 years ago

What a beautiful lady she was farewell Nora Ephron

Thank You Mitchell

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) about 7 years ago

Hi Roger, Yes she wil be missed. The Apthorp wil out iive us all.

Hi Debbie, Yes he has so many memorable quotes.

Hi Wallace, Thanks, She met her third and final husband at the Apthorop.  A man who occupied the top floor.

Hi Alexandra, I love a "Pile of stone" and how she rationalized the "key money"

Hi Gene, She had a real connection with her Apthorp home although when the rent was raised 400% she fell out of love. But she described her new apartment not as love but just a place to live. No one could have expressed it better.

Hi Hannah, yes she was..
Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (Compass) about 7 years ago

Mitch, she lived in a fabulous place in the Ontario, a wonderful old coop with huge apartments and super tall ceilings.  You get to see the coolest places!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 7 years ago