BROOKLYN (CN) – A man who put down $208,750 in earnest money for Norman Mailer’s apartment wants the Estate to give his money back, claiming it told him, falsely, that a “soaring glass” rooftop addition the late writer built had been approved by the city.
Wesley Golby sued the Estate of Norman Mailer, its executor Sam Radin, the Corcoran Group, and Cutler Minkes and Adelman, as escrowee, in Kings County Court.
Golby says Mailer made “extensive alterations” to the apartment shortly after he bought it in the 1960s, “adding a two-story, glass-enclosed loft space containing dens, sitting spaces and/or bedrooms above the original unit and perched atop the roof of the building” in Columbia Heights, Brooklyn.
He claims the Estate advertised the apartment through its agent, Corcoran, and that before he agreed to buy it he “specifically inquired with Corcoran itself, and as an agent of the Mailer Estate, whether the rooftop addition was performed in compliance with all applicable law. By email dated May 7, 2011, Corcoran unequivocally responded that the ‘work was done legally,'” according to the complaint.
Golby says he relied upon that promise when he signed a purchase contract and handed over the $208,750 in earnest money. Then he came to find out that the addition actually violates the Certificate of Occupancy. When he objected, he says, the Estate showed him architectural plans “for an entirely different project which makes no mention of the rooftop addition.”
He says the Estate “obstinately refused to provide any further evidence to substantiate their representation as to the legality of the apartment,” and refuses to return his deposit.
He wants his money back, plus costs.
He is represented by William Fried with Herrick & Feinstein, of Manhattan.
Mailer (1923-2007) became famous for his first novel, about World War II, “The Naked and the Dead,” (1948). He remained in the public spotlight until he died, as famous for his hard living as his many novels, essays and nonfiction books.