Real Estate

For Sale: The SoHo Building Where John Lennon and Yoko Ono Once Lived

It was the first New York City home they owned, shortly after the breakup of the Beatles.

In the fall of 1971 — two years before moving to the famed Dakota apartment house on the Upper West Side — John Lennon and Yoko Ono had settled downtown, buying a petite loft-style building at 496 Broome Street in SoHo.

At the time, Lennon had just released his second solo studio album, “Imagine.”

Upon relocating to New York, Lennon began forging his own identity with Ms. Ono, an avant-garde artist, musician and peace activist, while publicly distancing himself from his former bandmate Paul McCartney, with whom he had created some of the 20th century’s most popular songs.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono, pictured in 1971, the year they bought a loft-style building on Broome Street in SoHo.Credit…Getty

“He thought New York was a place where he could be left alone,” said Philip Norman, the author of the biography “John Lennon: The Life.” “It really did seem like freedom — freedom from the Beatles. It was a very miserable life being a Beatle.”

Mr. Norman, who wrote biographies on McCartney and George Harrison, among other famous musicians, noted that Lennon and Ms. Ono had first stayed in a couple of suites at the St. Regis Hotel before buying the Broome Street building and also renting an apartment at 105 Bank Street in the West Village. “The building on Broome Street was sort of like a base for their artistic ventures,” he said. “Bank Street was their salon, where people could just walk in.”

The Broome Street building — still owned by Ms. Ono and her son, Sean Ono Lennon, also a musician — is now on the market for the first time in more than half a century through the real estate services company JLL. The asking price is $5.5 million. Annual property taxes are $55,069.

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