60 Minutes ‘ Ed Bradley Buys Medium Brown Plot … Boris Karloff’s Dakota Apartment Finally Scares Up a Buyer


On Jan. 30, 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley ticked off $950,000 for a 1.75-acre tract in the woodlands of Northwest Harbor-that’s “north of the highway” and away from the beach, for those concerned with such issues. He bought the empty lot from Jonathan Canno, the former chairman of Equitable Bag Company (a 79-year-old shopping bag corporation) who is better known out on the East End for being on the board of the Hamptons International Film Festival and a founding board member of the American Foundation for AIDS Research than as the man behind the Bloomingdale’s Medium Brown Bag.

Mr. Canno bought the land in 1987 for $315,000. According to Hamptons real estate watchers, he’d intended to build a house on the property, which has about 250 feet of water frontage. Instead, he bought and restored an 1867 house south of the highway and let his grassy lot sit fallow. And now, thanks to Mr. Bradley, it’s harvest time.

The land is in an area known as the Settlement at Northwest Harbor, which is little traveled by the Peggy Siegal set. In fact, the closest celebrity is probably Donna Karan, who’s also camped out in the woods north of the highway, but Mr. Bradley and Ms. Karan are far from being neighbors.

“It was previously undesirable,” said one local of the area. “It’s not what people think of when they think the Hamptons: the rolling potato fields … But that’s all been ruined, anyway.”

Mr. Bradley and his earring were probably after the privacy up there, even if he’s now a Hamptons owner, like his co-workers Steve Kroft and Don Hewitt. Through a spokesman, Mr. Bradley had no comment.

215 East 72nd Street

Three-bed, three-bath, 2,700-square-foot prewar co-op.

Asking: $1.395 million. Selling: $1.35 million.

Maintenance: $2,425.07; 30 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: one day.


“It’s been in a lot of magazines,” said interior designer Mary Meeham (left, with her son, actor William McNamara) of this apartment, which she lived in for 17 years and decorated three times. “It’s been in Architectural Digest twice … Redbook for a Christmas issue … some Japanese magazine that I can’t even remember the name of. And the living room was in Harper’s Bazaar , but the article was really about me.” Her designs for Jimmy Buffett’s porch-bedecked, dog-and-kid-friendly new Sag Harbor house, screenwriter William Goldman’s apartment in the Carlyle Towers and a former home of Jay McInerney have also been written up. But it wasn’t just the apartment’s professional taste-maker burnish that impressed buyers. “When people saw her son’s picture on the wall, they’d say, ‘Is this her son?'” said Ms. Meeham’s broker, Patricia Burnham. Broker Michele Kleier, who brought the winning bidder in that first day, said her “eligible daughter” has had a crush on Mr. McNamara since she’d seen him opposite Jodie Foster in Stealing Home . She told Ms. Burnham, “I’ll sell this apartment if you’ll introduce him to my daughter.” (“It really did motivate me to sell the apartment,” Ms. Kleier said.) And she did. Then Ms. Meeham didn’t much want to leave the place, but she realized how much other people wanted her to go. “I had someone in the building who was willing to pay $100,000 to break up the deal,” Ms. Meeham said. “He’d gotten $1.6 [million] for his, and he wanted mine because it was bigger.” But she didn’t undo the original deal. Nor did she kick in her son. Broker: Patricia S. Burnham Inc. (Patricia Burnham); Gumley Haft Kleier Inc. (Michele Kleier).

1 East 62nd Street

One-bed, one-bath, 900-square-foot prewar condo.

Asking: $590,000. Selling: $590,000.

Charges: $980. Taxes: $460.

Time on the market: three months.


“Hemingway lived there,” said broker Art Irwin of this 1890 mansion-carved-into-apartments. “Maybe in this apartment, or maybe in the one above it.… It’s where he wrote ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro.'” The house was built for railroad magnate Samuel Spencer. He was a Confederate soldier and a friend of J.P. Morgan; he died in 1906. His widow donated the house to Columbia University, which cut it into apartments in 1930 and then sold them off as condos in 1986. (There’s still a picture of her in the lobby. “She looks a bit like Evita Peron,” reports Mr. Irwin.) The apartment that was just sold is in the rear of the building, affording a view of the neighbor’s slate roofs and a courtyard owned by a nearby foundation. There’s a fireplace and 14-foot ceilings, but it’s not a grandiose space (the apartments in the house’s old public rooms in the front are fancier). “It’s open, quiet and reasonably sunny,” said Mr. Irwin. The place was something of a wallflower for a few months, but in the end there was a bidding war. You heard the broker: Papa slept here. Broker: Halstead Property Company (Art Irwin).

1 West 72nd Street (Dakota)

One-bed, one-bath, 1,150-square-foot prewar co-op.

Asking: $750,000. Selling: $725,000.

Maintenance: $2,695; 49 percent tax-deductible

Time on the market: four years.


For all you students of the Dakota, this apartment sits in the upper-left-hand corner of the building when you look at it from Central Park. Inside, because it’s on the top residential floor, “you can see some of the curves of the roof line” in addition to the park, the broker explained. It is still the most popularly celebrated apartment building in the city. (Even if Graydon Carter has abandoned ship for Bank Street, Yoko Ono’s still there, and don’t forget Maury Povich and Connie Chung, Lauren Bacall and The Observer ‘s own Rex Reed.) “Boris Karloff used to live there,” said broker Kevin Rusty of this apartment. Since the Dakota is divided into four quadrants, there’s only one other apartment on the floor. And the building is busy bringing the flues up to current building codes, at which point this apartment will have a wood-burning fireplace again. The sellers put the apartment on the market four years ago, but were in no hurry. The price has fluctuated as they have wavered on whether to sell or not. Architectural and pop-cultural significance notwithstanding, the sellers got serious when they found a lot more space: They’ve moved to a five-story town house on the Upper East Side. Broker: Bellmarc Realty (Kevin Rusty); Ashforth Warburg Associates. 60 Minutes ‘ Ed Bradley Buys Medium Brown Plot … Boris Karloff’s Dakota Apartment Finally Scares Up a Buyer