A RELIC OF LITERARY BROOKLYN has just hit the market: the fabulous yellow Greek Revival townhouse on Willow Street in Brooklyn Heights, where Truman Capote wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s, among other works. It’s for sale for the first time since he lived there in the 1950s, with an asking price of $18 million.

Built in 1839, the house has 11 bedrooms, a basement wine cellar, and a 2,500 square foot garden.


Capote rented the garden floor from Broadway art director Oliver Smith for 10 years in the 1950s and 1960s. I remember reading (this may be apocryphal) that he would entertain friends when his landlord was away, pretending the whole house was his.


Capote wrote an essay called “A House on the Heights” that evokes the neighborhood in those early postwar years, before the hulking Cadman Towers replaced hundreds of brownstones. The area was then home to many artists and writers, including W.H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, and Paul and Jane Bowles, who lived around the corner on Middagh Street in one of those now-razed brownstones.

To see interior pictures of the house, go here.