Batman's Crib: The Real Value of Wayne Manor

This month Batmania is set to kick back into overdrive. We thought it would be an appropriate time to ask a question only true fanboys and fangirls would want to know: How much does Wayne Manor cost?
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Batman ranks among America's most beloved comic book heroes. For more than 70 years the Caped Crusader has battled garish villains in an attempt to avenge the murder of his parents and turn bleak Gotham City into a beacon of progress.

This month with the release of Christopher Nolan's latest Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises (July 20, 2012) Batmania is set to kick back into overdrive. We thought it would be an appropriate time to ask a question only true fanboys and fangirls would want to know: How much does Wayne Manor cost?

Batman's Digs

It's difficult to track down the floor plans for a fictional estate. What we uncovered was a map of Wayne Manor created as part of a role-playing game released in the early '90s. What we gleaned from this was Wayne Manor's size, including the number of beds, baths, and amenities. From here we tracked down comparable properties such as Michael Jordan's former mansion to act as a guide.

If it were on the market today, Wayne Manor would be worth $32,100,000. It would include 11 bedrooms, sven baths, and have a total square footage of 42,500. The price per square foot would be $849.

That's not too shabby for Gotham City's most eligible bachelor.

Some of the amenities include:

  • pool
  • gym
  • library
  • ballroom
  • game room
  • gallery

Of course the price doesn't include the largest amenity of all. Underneath Wayne Manor is the multi-leveled Batcave, which is outfitted with state-of-the-art technology spread throughout another gym, laboratory, museum, workroom, and cave-front water access.

We went ahead and assumed that if Batman were to put his plush pad on the market, he would have sealed off his private armory to curious owners. This keeps the Batcave safe for Batman's return. As we all know, in comic books, superheroes always come back.

How did we come up with the price? Our answer is sure to raise the ire of ardent geeks.

Gotham on the Map

Part of what makes Batman such an iconic character is where he operates. When the character first saw print in 1939, he stalked the roofs of New York. Since that fateful night, the Caped Crusader's city has morphed into Gotham City, a dark sprawling metro with architectural elements from across the country.

Gotham City is its own character in Batman comics and TV shows. It's gritty, winding, and sinister. It's the perfect background for a vigilante who dresses as a bat to scare criminals.

It's also not real.

This means ol' pointy ears can't actually live in a more-than-century-old Jacobean mansion on the outskirts of a large metro. This made figuring out the cost of the Bat's digs a challenge -- perhaps one deserving of the world's greatest detective.

Here's what you should know:

Gotham City is a stand-in for any large city in the country. It's true when artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger created Batman they initially envisioned Cape Crusader residing in New York City. However, the city was changed to let readers better imagine any city. The story goes that while deciding on a name, Finger flipped through a phone book and spotted Gotham Jewelers. The name stuck.

But just because Gotham City was formerly New York City doesn't mean it has to be New York City. OK, some fanboys will disagree. Many will point out that Gotham represents the underbelly of New York City, and that it's indeed located in New Jersey.

Sure, you can think that.

The problem is that comics are fallible. Gotham City can, and does, change location and design based on a writer's and artist's needs. You could easily write a dissertation on the fluidity of Gotham City's location in comic books. Depending on the writer and artist, Gotham City might include portions of New York City or Chicago or Pittsburgh or... You see my point? An argument can be made that any of these locations could be inspiration for Gotham City -- otherwise why bother actually changing Batman's hangout from New York City to Gotham City?

We made a judgment call. Gotham City is Chicago. Chicago is Gotham City. Here's our hypothesis: There are two major superheroes in DC Comics, Batman and Superman. Superman hangs his fedora in Metropolis; Batman's cowl gets dry cleaned in Gotham City. In our view, Metropolis is a better allegory to New York City than Gotham City.

It's a subjective argument, we know. But there are good reasons for our pick.

Gotham City is a massive, nasty city with daunting and powerful architecture. It's a massively corrupt city with back alleys. Chicago gives us this vibe. Perhaps it's because of Chi-town's history of over-the-top criminals such as serial killer H.H. Holmes and gangsters Al Capone and John Dillinger. Or, maybe it's because the Windy City has an impressively long list of corrupt politicians.

Either way, we made a call.

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