Earlier this week, The Observer reported on newsman godhead Walter Cronkite’s $4.275 million sale of a townhouse at 160 East 95th Street.
Walter “Chip” Cronkite III, who lived in the house with his actress-wife Deborah Rush (they were on the sales deed as well), returned a reporter’s call today to talk about the house: “An old gal in her 90s had been the previous occupant, since she was a teenager,” he said, “and she had not done much when they moved in the ’40’s or whatever, so there were quite untouched moldings.”
Moldings be damned, his family has moved down to Lexington Avenue and 89th Street. “Six blocks make it a whole ball of wax! The dog has a whole new set of corners to sniff,” he said–plus there are “all new dry cleaners.”
So why did he cycle through three Manhattan brokerages when he was listing the townhouse? “We stopped and started over a couple of years,” he said. But: “As I recall, there was no ill feeling about any of them.”
What about the federal IRS lien against the younger Mr. Cronkite, filed with the city in December 2004? “I’m happy it’s cleared up, I don’t know anything about it, or what city records reflect on that. I can go on record saying if there was any lien, I’m happy it was cleared up.”
“Any liens that might have existed were of no consequence to the sale,” he said later.
As for his famous father, Chip Cronkite said the newsman didn’t live in the townhouse, but that he loved the place. “And he was nice enough to help us with it… we all worked together on the investment. It was nice being in business with him, and we’re happy we sold when we did, it’s a good time to sell.”
Incidentally, the elder Cronkite’s companion is Joanna Simon, the singer-turned-real estate agent for Barbara Fox’s boutique brokerage. Speaking of show biz, Ms. Rush happens to have been a hilarious co-star in the godly cult comedy Strangers with Candy.