Obama’s Harlem Apartment for Rent
Thursday, July 19, 2012
The two-bedroom Harlem apartment where President Barack Obama lived while he attended Columbia University in the 1980s is for rent.
The sunny two-bedroom railroad apartment on the Upper West Side with exposed brick, a galley kitchen and “generous closet space” is now going for $2,400 a month – a far cry from the $360 the future president split with his roommate.
“Live Like the President!!!” the CitiHabitats listing screams. “Barack Obama's former apartment is now on the market for rent. Be a part of history and live where the President lived while he attended Columbia University. Who knows, you just might end up in the White House one day.”
The future president had an inauspicious start in New York. He found himself locked out of the pre-war third-floor walk-up at 142 W. 109th Street when he first arrived in the city late one evening in August 1981, according to his memoir Dreams From My Father.
He described the neighborhood as empty with boarded-up buildings on either side – “a bulk of rectangular shadows,” he wrote.
He finally squeezed into the front door as a neighbor was leaving, pulled his luggage up three flights of stairs and started banging on the apartment door – to no avail.
“Again, no answer, just a sound down the hall of a deadbolt thrown into place. New York. Just like I pictured it,” he wrote.
He then went outside, sat on the stoop and began reading a letter his father had given him.
"Obviously, this is not a Mount Vernon or a Monticello," Zak Kneider, one of the Citi Habitats brokers listing the apartment, told the Wall Street Journal. "It's a typical New York City walk-up. A million other people in New York live in these type of apartments."
The Journal says Kneider had received nine inquires about the apartment by Wednesday evening.