Brooklyn Heights

Pieces of a celebrated life, for sale on Montague Street

The ‘Great Wall,’ remembered

August 21, 2018 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Furniture, books, photographs and musical instruments are among the hundreds of items from Christopher Wall’s home. Eagle photos by Mary Frost

It’s been over a year since Christopher Wall died (in May 2017), and the furniture, tea cups, paintings and mementos from his celebrated home at 11 Cranberry St. have been on sale all week in a vacant storefront at 150 Montague St.

Chris Wall was a 35-year veteran of the advertising industry. He worked at Ogilvy & Mather for decades, most recently as vice chairman of Ogilvy North America, where he inspired ferocious devotion from his friends and co-workers.

“It’s unbearable that he is no longer with us,” his longtime creative partner and Ogilvy executive creative director Susan Westre wrote in a note after he died at the age of 61, Adweek reported.

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At 6 feet 10 1/2 inches tall, Wall was dubbed “The Great Wall” by Steve Hayden, the retired vice chairman of Ogilvy. Wall used to say, “Life is short. I am not,” Hayden wrote in Ad Age.

IBM’s resurgence in the 1990s and 2000s has been attributed to Ogilvy under Wall’s creative direction. He worked on ads for Coca-Cola, Pepsi, American Express, Volvo and Ford, and received hundreds of awards including Cannes Lions, Clios and The One Show.

But his biggest prize was his Brooklyn Heights home, he told Hayden.

“I won a Cranberry. Not everybody has a Cranberry, and it’s really the best award you can win,” Wall said.

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Hall lovingly restored 11 Cranberry into a showplace worthy of Architectural Digest “and the highest rent in Brooklyn after he moved to Chicago,” Hayden noted.

“He had the most incredible house ever,” Vicki Negron, his Corcoran broker, told the Brooklyn Eagle. Wall bought the house about 20 years ago and had “amazing parties and amazing people come through,” she said. The ambassador from Argentina resided in the house during a recent visit, bringing his own china for entertaining.

Wall was an artist, an avid guitar player and drummer, and wrote and created music, Negron said. His drum set and numerous instruments from other countries are for sale.

“It’s a tremendous loss for me personally because he mentored me and guided me, but he was also a wonderful client and a wonderful neighbor,” she said. “His death is a tremendous loss to advertising and to his community both in Chicago and in Brooklyn Heights.”

Wall’s surviving spouse has other homes and “unfortunately, could not use the furnishings,” hence the sale, Negron said. The furnishings were meant for an enormous brownstone, she added, “and she lives in a modest apartment on the Upper West Side.”

The items will be on sale through Wednesday at 150 Montague St., Brooklyn Heights.

 


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