After publishing In Cold Blood, Truman Capote spent his royalties on a 25th-floor, $62,000 apartment in the high-nosed twin-towered co-op at 860-870 U.N. Plaza.
In 1966, he threw his famous Black & White Ball at the Plaza for Kay Graham, another early buyer at his building off First Avenue. The doorman was one of 500 invitees: He is said to have “twirled” Graham around the dance floor before thanking her for the happiest evening of his life.
Those days are gone. Graham, who became The Washington Post’s publisher after her husband’s 1963 death, piloting the paper through Vietnam and Watergate, died in July 2001 at age 84. (Capote collapsed in their building’s lobby 20 years earlier, though he lived for another three.)
Now Graham’s three-bedroom pied-à-terre, four floors lower than her old friend’s, has finally been sold, six and a half years after her death. City records show her estate, apparently handled by Washington Post CFO John Morse Jr. and board director George Gillespie III, sold the apartment last month for $2.3 million.
“She used that apartment all the time,” Mr. Morse said. “Nobody’s living there,” he said later. “We had been using it for people to go in and out—which is actually against the co-op rules.”
Graham’s buyer is Astrid Horan, a retired writer and researcher for Governor Nelson Rockefeller. She doesn’t mind the apartment’s simplicity: “It’s very plain, very square, and there are no moldings; that’s just fine. Nice drapes, and that’s all you need.”
Good neighbors help, too. “This is a building of high achievers,” Johnny Carson’s wife, Joanne, said in 1969. “People who live here are not climbing. They have arrived.”
Maybe Graham was proud that her pied-à-terre was seven floors above Bobby Kennedy’s sprawl? Could she have been upset not to be higher herself? “If you’re on the 38th floor, it’s like an airplane,” Ms. Horan said. “Here you’re still part of the world.”