Meet Gordon Bunshaft

Manhattan House: Meet Gordon Bunshaft
This ad appeared in the November 11, 2015, issue of the New York Times Magazine

The man stood by the window. The view was magnificent, looking east along 66th Street toward the library on the next block. But he had his back to it. Instead of admiring the view, he was looking around the apartment nervously, head darting left and right like a bird. It was midday, and cool white sunlight was streaming in. Anywhere else, it might have felt cheery. But anxiety was rolling off him, filling the apartment like a smell.

A woman sat on the couch in the center of the room, paperwork scattered on the coffee table before her. She took a deep breath and tried again.

“Mr. Stender, I’m sorry, but there’s nothing we can do for you. You signed the papers, and the title’s been transferred. The condo is yours.” She continued, despite being unsure he was listening to her. “What about the garden? You know we have the second-largest garden in Manhattan, right? We’ve found that when this…” She paused, searching for the right word. “This issue starts to bother the residents here, they like to spend time strolling the garden, where the problem is less pronounced.”

For a moment his head stopped swiveling, and he glared at her.

“Yeah, I’ve tried the garden. It’s hardly any better. Look, I don’t care if I already signed the papers. I’ve looked it up and there are laws about this kind of thing. You have to disclose it before the property changes hand.”

The real estate agent shrugged, somehow managing to express both sympathy and immovability.

“Mr. Stender, no one died in this unit. There was no required disclosure.”

The man’s hands clenched into fists. “But this apartment has a ghost! This whole building is haunted! How can you not tell people about the ghost before they buy a unit?”

She sighed. “Mr. Stender, you said you first heard about the condo in our New York Times Magazine ad. So you’ve seen the ad. And it says, very explicitly, that residents will ‘meet Pritzker Prize-winning architect Gordon Bunshaft.’”

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