CNN's Anderson Cooper has finally been outed... as the buyer who paid $4.3 million for a historic Greenwich Village firehouse. The Post assembled enough circumstantial evidence to bring the Village's worst-kept secret to the masses: Cooper is the mystery man who took the historic building at 84 West 3rd Street off the hands of the New York Board Of Fire Underwriters. The group sold the 8,240-square-foot building (not including a former stable out back) in September, and rumors have been flying for months that the Silver Fox—who has a penthouse in the Garment District—was the buyer. The purchaser is hidden behind an LLC, but Cooper has been spotted visiting the firehouse, which was not part of the FDNY but rather the old insurance-funded Fire Patrol. While there is no approval yet for a residential conversion, interior demolition is underway, and the permits list architect/developer Cary Tamarkin (of 397 West 12th Street and 456 West 19th Street fame) as the man overseeing the work. Hopefully Tamarkin isn't ripping up too much.
According to the Post, the building still has its original spiral staircases, brass fire poles, overhead beams used to dry hoses and walls covered with murals marking the fire patrol's history. The century-old building was nominated this week for the National Register of Historic Places, which could net Cooper tax breaks on the property if the facade is maintained. The four-story firehouse was listed for $4.75 million, so in addition to saving innocent children from natural disasters, Cooper also apparently has a knack for negotiating high-end Manhattan real estate.