The longtime Upper West Side comedy team Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara’s home, an expanded cooperative where they raised their two children, wrote and collaborated on material, and entertained a variety of celebrities, is coming for the first time in more Markt market than half a century.
According to Bruce Ehrmann, a real estate agent at Douglas Elliman Real Estate who lists the property along with colleague Andrew Anderson, the price for the fifth floor residence at 118 Riverside Drive is $ 5 million with $ 7,593 monthly maintenance.
Mr. Stiller died in May 2020 at the age of 92, five years after the death of Ms. Meara, who was 85 years old and his wife was 61 years old.
In 1965, shortly before the birth of their son, actor Ben Stiller, the couple had moved from Washington Heights to Unit 5B of the building with their daughter Amy. Back then it was rent and they were paying $ 220 a month.
“I think my father always wanted to live on Riverside Drive when he was growing up very poor on the Lower East Side,” Ben Stiller said in an email.
At the time they moved, the coveted Manhattan apartments were harder to come by. “People have tried all possible ways to get an apartment,” said Amy Stiller, also an actress. “My mother was pregnant with my brother and the landlord asked if he could touch her stomach. He wanted to make sure she wasn’t pretending to be pregnant. “
Mr. Stiller and Ms. Meara bought the unit after the apartment house, built of orange brick in 1929, was converted into a cooperative in 1968, then acquired 5A next door in the early 1980s and combined the two rooms. (The 16-story Renaissance Revival building with Art Deco details and adjacent house number 110 are part of a two-building complex overlooking Riverside Park between 83rd and 84th Streets.)
The house is approximately 3,700 square feet and includes five bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, two kitchens, and staff quarters consisting of a small bedroom and bathroom.
“This apartment has great bones, a great view and a livable and flexible layout,” said Ehrmann. He got to know the Stiller family, he said while Ben Stiller was working on the 1995 film “Permanent Midnight”, which is based on the book by Ehrmann’s best friend Jerry Stahl. (Mr. Ehrmann also handled the purchase and sale of a maisonette owned by Ben Stiller and his wife, actress Christine Taylor, on 118 Riverside Drive.)
The apartment “doesn’t have any neat details,” remarked Mr. Ehrmann, but over the years, Mr. Stiller and Ms. Meara had made various changes to the floor plan and upgrades, such as: B. the renovation of the bathroom and the installation of a sauna and a whirlpool. A few pre-war details have been preserved, including the high ceilings and oversized windows with original paneling, and there are oak floors and several built-ins throughout the unit.
Although much of the original decor (think felt chairs and bold ’70s colors) has recently been replaced with some staged furniture and new paintwork, many of the rooms are still adorned with personal photos and memorabilia from a bygone era of entertainment.
Stiller and Meara’s comedy team became a fixture in nightclubs, television variety shows such as “The Ed Sullivan Show” and commercials from the early 1960s before the couple eventually split professionally. In recent years, Jerry Stiller has had a recurring role in the TV series “Seinfeld” and “The King of Queens”.
The house, which has a private elevator floor, is entered through a central gallery that leads to a large open space at the west end that has a living room with an office alcove, guest toilet, dining area and kitchen with custom-made wooden cabinets and stainless steel appliances. “That was my mother’s little office in the living room,” said Ms. Stiller. “My father had his office in the background.”
Mr. Stiller recalls that his mother “had her office zone, her couch zone, where she did the Sunday Times crossword puzzle in ink every week”.
The staff rooms are next to the kitchen. And also at the west end there is a bedroom with its own bathroom and the sauna.
The gallery and hallway leading to the east wing are lined with pictures of the famous couple, including Hirschfeld caricatures and a painting by Sam Messer that Ben Stiller commissioned as a gift to his parents. In this part of the apartment there is another kitchen, also with wooden cabinets and stainless steel appliances, as well as a dining area and a pantry. French doors open to a library / den with bookshelves and there are four other bedrooms, one of which was used as an office. The master bedroom suite has a marble bathroom, walk-in closet and dressing room.
Both Amy and Ben Stiller have fond memories of growing up on Riverside Drive.
“It was our whole life that happened there – everything from birthday parties to Thanksgiving, Passover seder and Christmas mornings and Hanukkah evenings,” said Mr. Stiller, who has appeared in dozens of films such as “Night at the Museum”. and is currently working on a documentary about his parents that will include his childhood home. “Life in the building was like a community of its own,” he said.
“We played with other children in the house,” added Ms. Stiller, including the children of the renowned artist Peter Max, who lived on the 14th floor.
Brother and sister also had their own sibling fun. “We were troublemakers as children,” said Ms. Stiller, remembering how the two water balloons threw out the apartment windows and frightened unsuspecting passers-by.
Her bedrooms were next to each other, she noticed, and as children they often communicated during bedtime “by just banging on the walls.”
And then there were the many gatherings that Mr. Stiller and Mrs. Meara had with notable guests such as the director Francis Ford Coppola and the actors William Hurt and Sylvia Miles. “It was very exciting,” said Ms. Stiller.
Holidays were special. “We’d have Thanksgiving there,” she said, “and Rodney Dangerfield would be there. Comedian Elayne Boosler came with Andy Kaufman. I remember him asking, ‘Can I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, please?’ “
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