‘Elvis’ Director Baz Luhrmann’s Bold NYC Townhouse Gets a New Price Tag and Also Becomes Available to Rent

Earlier this year, before the Elvis biopic became a worldwide hit, the film’s director listed this striking Gramercy Park townhouse for $19,999,500. In the aftermath of the movie’s release, is Baz Luhrmann even more likely to nab a mondo Manhattan sale? Time will tell, but Luhrmann, who also directed movies like Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby, is clearly on the hunt to nab a buyer or even a tenant. The six-bedroom home just got a price cut and also became available to rent. Someone with deep pockets and theatrical taste can buy it for $18.99 million or rent it for $75,000/month.

Luhrmann and his wife, Academy Award-winning costume designer Catherine Martin (who created the looks and sets for Elvis) picked up the 8,500-square-foot townhouse at 243 East 17th Street in 2017, according to the NY Post. While they spent $13.5 million on it, an extensive renovation in 2019 created a slew of colorful, bespoke spaces that no doubt contribute to the price jump.

Like the vibrant visuals of the pair’s successful film collaborations, different rooms provide stand-out moments without overshadowing each other. The wallpaper-clad primary suite sweeps you far away to a vacation home in Bali, while red carpeting running down a narrow black staircase creates a dramatic, almost gothic feel. Much of the home’s charm lies in its unpredictable flair, but also in the bones of the architecture, which hold chunky moldings, carved fireplaces, and more.

Indeed, the structure dates back roughly 170 years and its history has been well-documented. Thomas Morton built the townhouse in the 1850s. Later residents include the Haywards (a British family who lived there from 1871-1896), Martha and Rudolph Edward Schirmer (who lived there from 1881-1920), and saxophonist Clifford Jordan.

Steve Gold of The Corcoran Group has the listing, which spans five stories.