Built in the 1830s when this quiet, tree-lined residential block was home to well-to-do families, the four-story, 3,600 square-foot Greek Revival townhouse at 240 West 21st Street has seen a lot of change through the years. From its beginnings as an impressive residence for a successful engraver (h/t Daytonian), the home has been a boarding house, apartments and, in more recent years, the well-designed and thoroughly updated home of screenwriter/directors Leora Barish and Henry Bean (Barish wrote the screenplay for the cult favorite Madonna film “Desperately Seeking Susan” and the more recent “Basic Instinct 2;” Bean wrote and directed the award-winning film “The Believer”). The Chelsea townhouse, on the market for $7.1 million, is once again a comfortable single-family home boasting several terraces and a big, bright garden-facing yoga studio.
‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ screenwriter lists Chelsea townhouse with a private yoga studio for $7.1M, Fri, January 20, 2017
It’s hard not to crush on this Upstate Victorian, perfectly preserved since its construction in 1879 (h/t CIRCA). Located at 21 Curry Lane in New Hyde, both the architecture and location impress: the white house, with its original slate roof and wraparound porch, sits on a hill overlooking the Hudson River. It’s a 15- minute drive to the Metro North station in Poughkeepsie for city dwellers, and it’s $785,000 price tag is quite impressive.
When he penned an essay about his neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights in 1959, it was this wood-frame house at 13 Pineapple Street that inspired Truman Capote. “Cheerfully austere, as elegant and other-era as formal calling cards, these houses bespeak an age of able servants and solid fireside ease; of horses in musical harness,” he wrote, referencing the 1830 Federal-era home that was around the corner from his personal house. The Wall Street Journal reports that, for the past 26 years, the residence has been preserved by a couple who were drawn to its grey shingles as a reminder of the old houses in Nantucket they love. But now that their children are grown, they’re looking to downsize and have listed the storied property for $10.5 million.
Even in the land of many mansions otherwise known as north Park Slope, 106 Eighth Avenue is, as the listing says, a rare Brooklyn treasure. Built in 1905 for furniture tycoon Henry Wallace Partridge, this Beaux Arts mansion built to accommodate “family, full time employees and guests” spans 8,000 square feet and 20 rooms, including seven bathrooms and nine fireplaces. Maintained with care, this extraordinary home has retained original details throughout, including hand-painted frescoes and a Tiffany stained glass atrium. It’s currently on the market for $8.789 million (still far below the 17,500-square-foot Low mansion at 3 Pierrepont Place for $40 million), and awaits more family, full-time employees and guests to reimagine it for the 21st century.
File this one under things you won’t find in Brooklyn: This pretty, totally modernized 2,828 square-foot Queen Anne row house at 418 East 136th Street in the Bertine Block Historic District offers four bedrooms with room for more, and four stories of townhouse loveliness, all for the well-under-a-million price of $800,000. Caveats apply, of course: It’s a narrow house at only 14 feet wide, and single-family so no rental income if you live there. But The Bronx is the place to be if you’re looking for townhouse living for under a mil.
For the first time in 20 years, Frank Lloyd Wright‘s “Tirranna” home in New Canaan, Connecticut is on the market. The Wall Street Journal reports that the home, which Wright built just before his death in 1959 on a 15-acre wooded estate, has been listed for $8 million by the estate of its long-time owner, the late memorabilia mogul and philanthropist Ted Stanley and his wife Vada. Though the couple renovated the horse-shaped home, they maintained its original architectural integrity, preserving classic Wright details like built-in bookshelves, cabinets and furniture, as well as other unique features such as a rooftop observatory with telescope, gold leaf chimneys, and sculpture paths that wind through the woods.
After being on the market for over two years, Brooklyn’s priciest townhouse–a $40 million home at 3 Pierrepont Place–is now being offered as four rental units. 6sqft previously featured the home, known as the Low Mansion for the previous owner and businessman A.A. Low, whose son, Seth Low, became mayor of New York City in 1902. Spanning 17,500 square feet, the eight-figure townhouse boasted 15 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, and more than 9,000 square feet of garden and outdoor space with original details galore. Though even Matt Damon toured the grand Brooklyn Heights property back in September, the house hasn’t found a buyer, so the owner is now offering the mansion as four luxurious rental homes from a $4,500 one-bedroom to a 1,700-square-foot top-floor unit for $12,000 a month (h/t Curbed).
If you owned this Dutchess County home, you’d never need to stay in a cute country inn; the historic Hyde Park/Pleasant Valley four-bedroom house resembles a quaint B&B from its outbuildings and pond to its cozy interiors (h/t CIRCA). Currently on the market for $525,000, 45 Marshall Road is about the most textbook example of an uncomplicated country home that we’ve seen in a while. And it might be just the thing for next year’s Christmas card photo.
A Google Earth image of the property
News of President Obama imposing sanctions against the two Russian intelligence agencies that were allegedly involved in the DNC hacking that affected the 2016 presidential election is perhaps the biggest news in the world right now, but it hits a lot closer to home than many New Yorkers may realize. The administration expelled 35 intelligence officials from the country and ordered two intelligence compounds closed, one of which is a 49-room mansion on a 14-acre property in Glen Cove on Long Island’s ritzy Gold Coast (h/t Gothamist). NBC New York reports that, although the Soviet Union purchased it in 1951 to be used as weekend home for its UN delegates, many locals were never aware of its existence as a “longtime getaway for Russian diplomats” that was “also used for Russian intelligence purposes.”
This 18th century farmstead, known as Spy Hill, is historic on the outside but has been renovated with modern, luxurious finishes inside. Located upstate in Brewster, New York, it’s on the market for $1.95 million, CIRCA tell us. There’s the main house, decked out with fireplaces, a large outdoor terrace with a covered veranda, as well as a guest house, three-level dairy barn, workshop, yoga studio, green house and heated in-ground pool and spa, all over four acres. Talk about an impressive property.
In New York City, where buying and selling real estate is a high-stakes endeavor, the topic of historic and landmark designation is frequently raised. There are heated discussions on the subject of listing neighborhoods or buildings on the State and National Register of Historic Places or having them designated by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. It’s important to know what those organizations do and the distinctions between them. You could even be eligible for significant financial aid for your renovations if you own property in an historic district.
Graphic design legend Milton Glaser‘s most famous works are arguably the I ♥ NY logo and the psychedelic Bob Dylan poster, both of which were created at his upstate home in Woodstock. He and wife Shirley have owned this incredible, early 20th century stone-and-glass home for more than 50 years, adding a contemporary aesthetic to its historic Arts and Crafts style and maintaining the 76+ acres of gardens and forest. It’s now hit the market for $1.8 million since, according to Gothamist, the couple has reached a point “where downsizing has become the obvious choice.”
The Chelsea Firehouse at 323 West 21st Street would be an historic icon based on its origins alone, beginning in the late 19th century as an actual firehouse, built to accommodate a shiny new horse-drawn steam pumper engine (h/t Daytonian in Manhattan). The mid-Victorian era structure not only survived the ensuing decades, but in 1999, Architectural Digest featured the duplex shown here, by then one of three luxury apartments, calling it “indisputably one of a kind.” In the years between, the building was home to free-spirited performers and artists, including Andy Warhol and Philip Pearlstein who sought refuge here from seedy lodgings in the East Village. The designer-renovated, uniquely-configured 4,000 square-foot duplex in this storied building is now on the rental market for $33,000.
After General George Custer perished in Little Big Horn in 1876 (Custer’s Last Stand), his widow Elizabeth Bacon Custer moved to New York amid her quest to salvage her late husband’s legacy through her three books, “Tenting on the Plains,” “Boots and Saddles,” and “Following the Guidon.” In 1902, after attainting recognition and financial success through her writing, Elizabeth commissioned a massive Colonial-style home in Bronxville. Located in the high-end Lawrence Park neighborhood, the landmarked mansion boasts six period fireplaces, seven bedrooms, turreted rooms, “whimsical nooks and crannies,” a large wine cellar, and landscaped gardens surrounding stone terraces and pathways.
Though this 1830s livery stable on a picturesque Cobble Hill block offers seemingly endless charms on its own, the three-story, 4,300-square-foot home may have one of the more unique carriage house histories we’ve heard: It’s believed that between 1915 and 1920 the stable was used to house zebras when what is now the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus was in town—the building next door was used to hold the elephants. If that’s not enough distinction, the adorable carriage house belonging to singer Norah Jones—it also appeared in the Julia Roberts film “Eat, Pray, Love,”—sits directly across the street. But this particular carriage house, on the market for $5.6 million, is eclectic enough without past-life zebras or celebrity neighbors, from its expansive owners’ duplex to its cozy upper floor apartment. Two decks overlooking a gorgeous rear garden and parking at the front have already won us over, and that’s before we’ve even gone inside.
If you’ve got Eichler dreams and Fallingwater fantasies, but don’t live in state that’s abundant with mid-century modern architectural gems, it helps to be on the lookout for homes like this one. The Rockland County house on over an acre of woods in Wesley Hills, NY, now on the market for $488,000, was built in 1965 by Versland Rhodes, a popular builder of contemporary upstate homes of the day. The four-bedroom home is beautifully preserved, with details like a sunken living room, cherry wood cabinetry and hardwood and stone floors joining conveniences like central A/C. Like many modern homes, every effort was made to minimalize the border between inside and outdoors, so you get to enjoy a wraparound deck, tons of windows and scenic views.
A 187-year-old carriage house at 29 Downing Street on a quintessential West Village block has appeared in print for so many reasons it’s hard to name them all–starting with the six-degrees-of-“Hamilton” fact that it was built in 1829 on land owned by third U.S. vice president Aaron Burr. 6sqft featured the historic home owned by artists John Bennett and Karen Lee Grant in early 2015 when it was listed for $13 million. The homeowners’ vision reflected in this remarkable art studio, gallery and living space was featured in House Beautiful, Elle and two coffee table books; the Wall Street Journal called the 25-foot-wide home a “time capsule of development in the West Village.” Not only is it one of the most photographed homes in the neighborhood, it’s also among the oldest. Purchased by Bennett in 1977 for $155,000 with the help of a loan from the previous homeowners, the house recently sold for $6.8 million–about half the original ask–after two years on the market and several broker changes and price chops (h/t Curbed).
This 185-year-old West Village townhouse at 121 Washington Place would enchant any lover of historic homes. Well-preserved details are everywhere, from a brick facade to a distinguished wood-paneled library and full-length arched drawing-room windows. Then there are the features that would thrill any homeowner; at 22 feet wide, the four-story house has an elevator and, best of all, the unexpected surprise of a pint-sized skylit English cottage/artists’ studio with a full bath at the back of an idyllic walled garden. Even beyond its current charms, this home and its unique little studio have seen many a colorful, creative life and hosted artists, poets and other notables from Mark Twain to Hillary Clinton.
Though she created a vision of Manhattan that made an entire generation want to move to the big city and sip cosmos, “Sex and the City” writer Candace Bushnell also has experience in a more laid-back country lifestyle. The Journal recently toured her historic Victorian farmhouse in Roxbury, Connecticut, which is currently listed for $1.365 million. Bushnell said she’s an old house lover who grew up antiquing, so when she saw the circa 1830 home in 2005, she couldn’t help spending $661,500 on it, even though she admits she “could barely afford it.” Clearly a good investment, the three-acre property has an apple orchard, barn, salt water pool, and pool house, as well as original moldings and floorboards.
A piece of New York City history has become (just slightly) more affordable to own yourself. The mid-century home at 101 East 63rd Street on the Upper East Side, known as the Halston House, is one of only three residences in Manhattan designed by famed architect Paul Rudolph. Not only is the architecture iconic, but after designer Halston moved in in 1974, he spent the next 15 years hosting parties attended by the likes of Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger. The former carriage house turned party destination turned luxury residence first hit the market for $40 million last year when it was said that contemporary art dealer Jeffrey Deitch was “angling” to make a deal. It must not have worked out, because it’s back on the market at a discount, asking $28 million.