34 EAST 61ST STREET
The Facts: Five-floor, five-unit 9,770-square-foot townhouse.
Asking Price: $11.5 million.
Taxes: $198,000 per year.
Agent: Maria Manuche and Nick Poskus, the Corcoran Group.
Restaurateurs have been sizing up this brownstone off Madison Avenue for weeks. Until recently, of course, it was home to chef Charlie Palmer’s Aureole, which has moved to a much larger space on 42nd Street. But what’s not as well known is that it once housed another larger-than-life presence: Orson Welles. Though Manuche and Poskus say they don’t know exactly when Welles lived there, multiple sources confirm that he did, most likely during his Mercury Theatre and radio days. Palmer also resided on the townhouse’s top floor in the nineties before he got married and moved to the West Coast; the building will be handed off to its next owner, complete with a rent-stabilized tenant. Though the mixed-use structure can be converted to other uses, it will likely remain a restaurant, which seems appropriate. Welles, after all, is the man who once said: “Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.”