Chic stay: Patti Smith's Townhouse

Because The Night: above, Patti Smith, photographed by ​Robert Mapplethorpe, 1978; © The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.


D id you enjoy Patti Smith's poignant memoir Just Kids? The artist narrated her own story with a poetic kind of gritty realism – she is best known, after all, for being a punk and a renaissance woman, yet her writing is beautifully touching. If you're a fan, you might enjoy this peek inside the New York townhouse she once shared with her photographer partner Robert Mapplethorpe in the late 60s. The Clinton Hill home, which proved a fitting artistic base for the couple, is now available to rent – albeit for a much larger sum than what the duo originally paid. No matter, the home has benefited from a cheery refurbishment. Architectural Digest notes: The three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo today looks quite different than how it must have back then. The space includes an open chef’s kitchen, a rear yard, and a rooftop deck, with a basement that can be used as a gym or recreation space. In contrast, Smith observed: “We had the entire second floor, with windows facing east and west, but its aggressively seedy condition was out of range of experience. Robert cut a deal with the landlord, agreeing to clean and paint it himself provided we pay only one month’s deposit, instead of the required two. The rent was $80 a month. We paid $160 to move into 160 Hall St. We regarded the symmetry as favourable.” The house is being managed by Brooklyn Properties.

Peace & Noise: above, Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, photographed at home by Norman Seeff, 1969.