Billie Holiday’s last home on the Upper West Side sells for $9.5M

July 10, 2017

In the years prior to her untimely death in 1959 at the age of 44, jazz legend Billie Holiday lived in this Upper West Side brownstone at 26 West 87th Street, just steps from Central Park. The storied, historic home first hit the market back in October 2015 for $12,950,000, and after a series of reductions, the listing was handed over this past September to Million Dollar Listing’s Ryan Serhant, who dropped the price to $9,999,000 and featured the property on a recent episode of his show. Lady Day’s house, built in 1910 but recently renovated, has now finally found a buyer for $9,475,000.

Behind the Renaissance Revival facade is 6,300 square feet of space that holds seven bedrooms, six+ bathrooms, and a rear garden.

An old-world entry foyer has restored mahogany walls and an opulent chandelier. Throughout are new white oak flooring and more mahogany and maple details.

A formal dining room leads to the oak- and marble-clad kitchen, which has been fully modernized with high-end appliances, sleek white cabinetry, and a subway tile backsplash. Behind the kitchen is the grand sitting room, boasting original details like ornate, 12-foot plaster ceilings, a stately fireplace mantle, pocket doors, and wood paneling all around. A smaller office sits behind this room.

The floor below, the garden level, holds another small kitchen, a media room, and entry to the backyard. There’s also a finished cellar with a temperature-controlled walk-in wine room and massive, restored oak doors.

The entire third floor is devoted to the 1,100-square-foot master suite, complete with tons of closet space, a cozy library with a fireplace, and a restored bathroom with dual vanity sinks, a large soaking tub, and separate walk-in shower. There are two bedrooms on the fourth floor and three on the fifth.

Though the sale was significantly less than the original asking price, it’s still a good deal higher than the last sale in 2009 for $5.85 million. Elaine Masci of Halstead represented the buyer.

[Listing: 26 West 87th Street by Ryan Serhant and Vinny LaPuma of Nest Seekers International]


Images courtesy of Nest Seekers

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  1. K

    The article implies that Billie Holiday owned the townhouse and lived there in a grand style. Hardly. The building was a rooming house in the 1950s and she rented a room on the ground floor, according to a former resident I spoke to a few years back.