Historic Homes

Events, Historic Homes, holidays, Upstate

All photos courtesy of the Armour–Stiner House

Not only is Westchester’s Octagon House the stuff that Instagram dreams are made of, but it is the world’s only eight-sided, fully-domed Victorian home. This holiday season, the Armour–Stiner House, as it’s officially known, will open its doors at night for a special event that invites guests to tour the restored 1872 house while it’s full of seasonal decorations. There will also be hot refreshments served and “dramatic interpretations of Washington Irving’s ‘Old Christmas.'”

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Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Upper West Side 

445 Central Park West, Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Upper West Side, Charles Coolidge Haight, New York Cancer Hospital

Listing images by Travis Mark; courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

This 120-year-old turreted brick-and-brownstone castle has a fascinating (and somewhat grim) history as the city’s first cancer hospital. Designed by Charles C. Haight in 1887 in the French Renaissance style, it later became a nursing home before it was converted to a very unique residential condominium in 2005. Units don’t often come on the market but when they do, they offer a scale that’s hard to match in the city, with 13-foot ceilings throughout, massive interior spaces, and Central Park a stone’s throw away. This three-bedroom residence at 445 Central Park West is now on the market for a relatively cool $6.445 million, considering the living room alone is larger than most NYC apartments.

Take a look around

Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Upstate

13 Heritage Hill Road, Tarrytown, Westchester

Listing images by James Patrick Cooper; courtesy of Compass

You wouldn’t be able to tell from looking at this unassuming Tarrytown home that it’s actually a mash-up of historical structures, though the remaining steeple provides a little clue about its past. The current kitchen and dining area was once a carriage house, the living room once served as the town’s general store and post office, and the parlor room was a one-room schoolhouse in the 1700s. The three structures were fused together in 1900 to create what is now 13 Heritage Hill Road. Spanning nearly 2,500 square feet, the three-bedroom residence is on the market for $950,000.

Take a look around

Cool Listings, Harlem, Historic Homes

147-149 West 123rd Street, Harlem, churches, church conversions, cool listings

Photo credit: Matt Vacca courtesy of Compass.

New York City’s church conversions always draw interest and curiosity; whether they symbolize tranquility–or just offer a unique setting that often includes stained-glass windows with heavenly light and miles-high cathedral ceilings–they transcend the ordinary. This historic, landmarked Harlem church, built in 1897, is now on the market for $6.25 million. Home to the Greater Metropolitan Baptist Church since 1985, the building is zoned residential, so, according to the listing, it can become a single-family home. Built in the English Gothic style and first dedicated as St. Paul’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church, the house of worship is a reflection of the neighborhood’s many layers of history. The listing calls on “sophisticated buyers and developers” to seize the chance to be responsible for the next chapter in the life of this neighborhood icon.

From 80-foot spires to a classic church basement

Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Upper East Side

32 East 74th Street, William Lescaze, Upper East Side

Listing images courtesy of Warburg Realty

In 2013, the New York Times described the William Lescaze townhouse at 32 East 74th Street—one of the first modernist residences built in NYC—as being “just at the edge of passing from worn to shabby, waiting for a new owner to bring it back to flawlessness.” After years of being on and off the market, a new owner came into the picture in 2015, when he bought the property for $14.5 million and transformed it into a three-unit investment property. Lescaze designed the house for Raymond C. and Mildred Kramer in 1934, one year after completing a modernist home for himself at 211 East 48th Street. Both feature his characteristic use of white stucco and glass bricks. The landmarked exteriors have remained intact, but as 6sqft previously noted, the interiors have long shed any trace of Lescaze’s interior design. The transformed property was most recently on the market in 2017 with a $20 million ask and is now back for a slightly reduced $19.5 million.

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Clinton Hill, Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Interiors

280 Washington Avenue, Clinton Hill, Jessica Warren, Pfizer Mansion, cool listings, townhouses

Photo credit: Rayon Richards and Connie Zhou, courtesy The Corcoran Group

In brownstone Brooklyn, there are dozens of grand homes that have historic significance and even more that are dazzling showcases of considered design. The unique 10,000-square-foot double mansion at 280 Washington Avenue in Clinton Hill happens to be one of Brooklyn’s finest examples of both. Known as the Pfizer Mansion–it was built in 1887 by Charles Erhart, co-founder of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company and brother-in-law to Charles Pfizer–the block-through property had a full slate of interesting inhabitants, from a library to industrial band rockers, before receiving an epic renovation from its current owner. That same owner, designer Jessica Warren, who purchased the property in 2007 for $3.2 million, spent many years and many millions restoring the house to a stunning degree that surpassed even its former glory. The home, which has been featured in numerous design publications, has most recently been a beloved B & B known as The Notorious B.N.B. The current owners put the house on the market in 2018 for $13.5 million. After a year and a broker switch, it’s now asking $9.995 million–and it’s worth every penny, from its graceful, curving windows to a working Otis elevator and private parking space.

Tour this colorful and beautiful Brooklyn home

Cool Listings, Historic Homes, New Jersey

Landmarked ‘castle’ in NJ relists for $39M

By Devin Gannon, Tue, September 24, 2019

crocker mansion, darlington mansion, cool listings

Photo courtesy of Christie’s International Real Estate

An English-style castle in New Jersey has returned to the market, offering potential buyers the chance to feel like royalty near the Ramapo Mountains. Asking $39 million, the three-story Darlington Mansion sits on over 12 acres in Mahwah and contains 58 rooms. Constructed in 1907 by George Crocker, the son of railroad baron Charles Crocker, the estate has been modernly restored over the last decade, all while retaining original materials and architectural elements. The mansion, also known as the Crocker Mansion, last listed in 2017 for $48 million.

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Historic Homes, Upper West Side 

James Baldwin Residence, James Baldwin Upper West Side, 137 West 71st Street

Photos: (l) Tax photo of 137 West 71st Street, 1964 (a year before James Baldwin bought the building). Courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives; (r) 137 West 71st Street, on the Upper West Side, 2016. Credit: Christopher D. Brazee/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

In June, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission designated six sites significant to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, including the former home of James Baldwin on the Upper West Side. Now, the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project tells us that the Baldwin residence at 137 West 71st Street has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, which recognizes his role nationally as relates to LGBT and civil rights history.

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Events, Fort Greene, Historic Homes

Take a jazz-filled tour of historic Fort Greene homes

By Devin Gannon, Wed, September 4, 2019

Photo courtesy of CityRealty

While it’s always easy to admire the stunning brownstones of Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood from the outside, here’s your chance to appreciate them up close. The 34th Fort Greene House Tour takes place on Sunday, Sept. 22, opening up unique homes from the 19th-century to architecture enthusiasts. Hosted by the Fort Greene Association, the theme of this year’s tour is “Houses, History & All That Jazz,” with some homes on tour featuring live music, in honor of the neighborhood’s musical legacy.

How to get tickets

Cool Listings, Gowanus, Historic Homes

Coignet Stone Building, Gowanus, 360 3rd Avenue

Photos by Vanessa DeGarcia, courtesy of The Corcoran Group

If there’s one building that has come to represent the preservation movement in Gowanus, it very well might be the Coignet Stone Building. Built in 1873 as a showroom and physical advertisement for Francois Coignet’s concrete construction company, it was the first documented concrete building in the city. Whole Foods purchased the property in 2005 and built its new supermarket next door, and the following year, the Coignet Buiding was landmarked. After years of neglect, Whole Foods completed a $1.3 million restoration in 2016, listing the property shortly thereafter for $6 million. It’s now back for a hair more, and though a gut interior renovation is definitely required, it’s being sold as a residential townhouse that has incredible potential.

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