President Obama’s College Apt

Jane Pritchard August 22, 2012 1

Living like the President

If these walls could talk, what would they say about the future President of the United States during his time at Columbia University? You may not be able to hear the story, but you can now see the story

Barack Obama’s old New York City apartment is on the market for a whopping $2400 a month. As a student at Columbia University in 1981, Obama paid $160 a month for this 3-story, two-bedroom walkup.

At the time, Obama was just like most college students, idealistic, studying political science, hoping to make a mark on the world. But unlike today, he hauled his luggage up the stairs and even reportedly lost his keys on the first night he was supposed to move into the apartment.

The apartment is located at 142 W 109 Street, commonly referred to as the Upper West Side, but more correctly called Morningside Heights. The neighborhood is not exactly in a desirable location in Manhattan, but it’s only 10-blocks away from Columbia University, making it ideal for Columbia students.

The broker listing describes Obama’s first apartment as a cozy, pre-war space with dark, hardwood floors and a marble bath, having exposed brick, high ceilings, and large windows with dark wooden frames.

Obama probably doesn’t have fond memories of the apartment. Author, David Maraniss, who penned a biography on President Obama wrote that Obama and his roommate skipped out on paying rent because the building didn’t have any heat. Maraniss wrote that the future President and his roommate were eventually evicted from this apartment.

Relative to the price of neighboring apartments, the New Yorker who snags the spot will probably be paying a little more than market price for this apartment but the new resident will have some great stories to tell. And every New Yorker knows the person who tells the best story controls the conversation.

The pictures of Obama’s first apartment are courtesy of Citi-Habits. If you would like to read the listing, click here.