21 VIEWS OF BILLY WILDER'S APARTMENT--(NOT THE MOVIE!)
Yes, it's true. Billy Wilder's Wilshire Blvd. cooperative apartment--his home from 1957 until his death in 2002--is up for sale. In fact a deal seems to be pending on it as I write this. His wife, the glammy Audrey, stayed on for another ten years until her death last year and now whoever controls the estate is letting the place go for a very reasonable million bucks and change.
Click here to view the listing. And if you want to know why this is of special interest to me, click here to read one of my more obsessive and interesting posts. For years I wondered why the Wilders lived in this relatively modest abode--surrounded, of course, by his incredibly immodest art collection--and now that I've seen the place firsthand (confession: I pretended to be an interested would-be buyer and wasted a very nice real estate agents time one afternoon a few weeks ago), I can honestly say: I have no idea why they chose to live in this relatively modest abode. It's not that it's not a pleasant place. It's just so very...simple...of its time...even a little limited.
The pictures you see displayed on the above link show the place "staged"--i.e., furnished by the realty company with rented stuff to give the environs a lived in, sleeked-up air. Interestingly they chose to stage it with pieces and paintings quasi-similar to the one's the Wilders owned--though I hasten to add that the stuff pictured is entirely knock-off quality and the attempt at emulating Wilder's impressive taste falls quite seriously short. However, several portraits of Wilder were hanging in the place when I paid my visit a few weeks ago and there was a charming framed picture of Audrey and Billy from the late fifties in their bedroom--about the time they moved there.
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 12:10 PM