Before he was the president of the United States, before meeting Michelle Obama, and before Harvard Law School, Barack Obama was an undergrad with roommates at Columbia University. And now, according to People magazine, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom Manhattan apartment where he lived while studying political science there in the ’80s is on the market for $1.45 million. The Morningside Heights pad is a short five-minute walk from campus, situated on a quiet residential block. The unit is one of 39 in a co-op apartment that used to rent out to university students; it’s unclear when the building was converted into condos, and what amenities were and were not offered to students at the time. Presently, the unit includes a laundry machine and dryer (a priceless bonus for any college student), and the building has a live-in superintendent and elevator.
The apartment boasts a well-lit eat-in kitchen with a cozy nook. The main bedroom suite has its own bathroom and generously proportioned closet, while two other bedrooms share a full bathroom and are located off the living room. According to the New York Post, the building has been home to other famous residents as well: A plaque outside the landmarked six-story building confirms that filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille lived there between 1906 and 1913.
Obama, who recently released his memoir, A Promised Land, lived in several other spots in New York during and following his formative college years, including another apartment in Morningside Heights and a townhouse in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.
The images seen here have been “virtually staged” to show what the apartment might look like when furnished by the new owners
And though things have been renovated since the father of two, now 59, resided there, the apartment is still full of old-school New York charm.
High ceilings and large windows offer plenty of sunlight and an airy feel, and residents have a view of the tree-lined street below. A living room centers the apartment, surrounded by the main suite and two additional bedrooms, as well as an eat-in kitchen.
The exact time frame during which Obama lived in the apartment is unclear, but the New York Times has reported that he lived in another Morningside Heights apartment — located on nearby West 109th Street — when he transferred from Occidental College to Columbia for his junior year, in 1981.
Shortly after earning his degree from Columbia, and prior to starting at Harvard Law School in 1988, Obama also lived in a classic townhome in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.
The five-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse was put on the market for $4.295 million in 2017. At the time of the listing, the top floor, where Obama lived, had three bedrooms, a washer and dryer, and a bathroom with an original clawfoot tub.
The former President spoke openly about love, family and life after the White House in this week’s PEOPLE cover story, which looks back at his presidency and discusses his new memoir, A Promised Land.
He also details what life has been like throughout the pandemic, as his two daughters, Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, have been spending much of the past year with their parents, social distancing amid the quarantine and taking their college classes remotely. (Malia is in her senior year at Harvard, while Sasha is a sophomore at the University of Michigan.)
The former first family has been splitting their time between their home in Washington, D.C. and their summer house in Martha’s Vineyard.