Historic Homes

Brooklyn Heights, Cool Listings, Historic Homes

Built in 1824, 24 Middagh Street is a charming, wood-frame, Federal house in Brooklyn Heights that has the distinction of being the oldest home in the neighborhood. And it’s just gotten a price chop to $6,650,000 (it first listed this past September for the first time in nearly 60 years, asking $7 million). The listing says most of the original interior details–like wood floors, fireplaces, and moldings–are intact, and the five-bedroom residence even comes with a landscaped backyard and separate, two-bedroom carriage house.

More on the home this way

Connecticut, Historic Homes, More Top Stories

Old Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse, Frank Sciame, Katharine Hepburn estate, Connecticut lighthouse

In 2004, New York-based developer and builder Frank Sciame paid $6 million for the 3.4-acre waterfront Connecticut estate of the late Katharine Hepburn. In late 2015, he also dropped $290,000 at auction for the Old Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse, which is within walking distance to the estate. The 131-year-old lighthouse was built in 1886 to mark a sand bar on the west side of the Connecticut River, but it will soon see a new life as a giant children’s playroom. The Post reports that Sciame asked yacht-design architects Persak & Wurmfeld to redesign the structure as a clubhouse for his grandkids, complete with the original cast-iron windows and portholes, watch room and lantern room, and upper wrap-around deck.

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Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Historic Homes, Interiors

The listing brags that this Greenwich Village co-op looks like something out of a movie, and we’d have to agree. A two-year restoration of this apartment, which occupies the third floor of the 1839 Greek Revival townhouse 158 Waverly Place, left the 2,000-square-foot space looking gorgeous. Historic details are paired with both intricate wallpaper patterns and modern amenities. The apartment, too, has hosted a notable crew of residents. The townhouse was built for Lambert Suydam, the former president of Manhattan Gas & Light Co., and then the third floor was later occupied by Oscar winning actress Judy Holliday between 1948 and 1952. The latest owner, Thomas Ruff, is a German photographer who purchased it in 2006 for $1.65 million, according to public records. And now the co-op can be rented for $12,495 a month.

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Bronx, Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Quirky Homes

Villa Charlotte Bronte, Villa Rosa Bonheur, 2395 Palisade Avenue, Bronx, Riverdale, John McKelvey, Robert Rabinowitz, co-ops, historic homes, multi-family, apartment buildings for sale, Spuyten Duyvil, cool listings

In case you need another reason to love New York City, this singular gem of a seven-unit apartment building perched on a wild cliff overlooking the Palisades where the Harlem River meets the mighty Hudson just hit the market. Built in 1924 as a co-operative by a super-literary lawyer/developer who also happened to be the first editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review, the Villa Rosa Bonheur at 2395 Palisade Avenue in Riverdale, the Bronx, is one of three; her sister buildings go by Villa Charlotte Brontë and Villa Victoria. Their creator, John J. McKelvey, was looking beyond the bottom line when he built what would be the first apartment buildings in the Bronx. Ms. Rosa is now on the market for a mere $2.595 million. There’s more: Her current owners are the family of the late “Beatlemania” creator Robert Rabinowitz.

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Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Midtown West

The historic Astor Suite at the Plaza is for sale at $39.5M

By Michelle Cohen, Wed, February 15, 2017

The Astor Suite at the Plaza Hotel and Residences at 1 Central Park South just hit the market for an Astor-worthy $39.5 million. The listing calls the 4,284 square-foot, three-bedroom home “one of the most historic homes ever to become available in the United States.” Currently owned by Esprit founder and former CEO Jürgen Friedrich, the suite boasts a roster of past residents that includes John Jacob Astor, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and John F. Kennedy.

Take the tour, find out more

Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Interiors, Park Slope

Mahogany millwork, plaster ceiling moldings, stained-glass windows: these are just a few of the stunning details to be found inside this historic Park Slope townhouse at 566 First Street. A restoration sought to restore as much of the limestone home–which was built in 1906–as possible, while at the same time integrating modern amenities from a dumbwaiter to audio and lighting systems. And now the 4,900-square-foot stunner is on the market for $5.475 million.

Take the grand tour

Cool Listings, East Village, Historic Homes, History

307 East 12th Street, historic homes, cool listings, co-ops, Children's Aid Society, Elizabeth Home for Girls, Calvert Vaux, East Village

Time hasn’t erased the historic feel of this unusual one-bedroom-plus-sleeping loft co-op, diminutive as it is elegant. It has the look of a renovated townhouse in one of the city’s most creative neighborhoods. At $1.35 million this petite pad may be an expensive refuge, but in its earliest days it was a refuge of a different sort with a history as interesting as its architecture–especially at a time when the ability to offer shelter to those in need is firmly in the spotlight. Landmarked in 2008, the subtly ornate red-brick facade of 307 East 12th Street was designed in 1892 by the firm of Calvert Vaux, who co-designed Central and Prospect Park among other enduring landmarks. Built for the Children’s Aid Society, the building was known as the Elizabeth Home for Girls; the New York Times tells us that it housed “several dozen young women rescued from abusive homes, offering them safe lodging, job training and healthy communal activities.”

Find out more about the building’s early residents

Chelsea, Cool Listings, Historic Homes

240 west 21st street, chelsea, cool listings, townhouses,

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.

Come on in, there’s plenty of room

Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Interiors, Upstate

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.

See the grounds and interior

Brooklyn Heights, Celebrities, Cool Listings, Historic Homes

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.

All the history right this way

Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Park Slope

106 8th avenue, park slope, historic home, townhouse, mansion, Henry Wallace Partridge, townhouses, mansions, cool listings, historic homes

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.

Take the grand tour

Bronx, Cool Listings, Historic Homes, mott haven

418 East 136th Street, Bronx, Townhouse, townhouses, queen anne, mott haven, historic homes, Bertine Block Historic District, Cool Listings

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.

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Connecticut, Cool Listings, Historic Homes

Frank Lloyd Wright, Tirranna, 432 Frogtown Road, Ted Stanley, New Canaan real estate, Frank Lloyd Wright for sale

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.

See it all right here

Brooklyn Heights, Cool Listings, Historic Homes

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).

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Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Upstate

45 Marshall Road, cool listings, dutchess county, upstate

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.

Explore the simple life

Historic Homes, Policy

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.”

The full story

Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Interiors, Upstate

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.

Now take the tour

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Historic Homes, Policy

historic districts and landmarking nyc

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.

Find out what these designations mean, how you could benefit from them and why they’re sometimes controversial.

Celebrities, Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Upstate

148 Lewis Hollow, Milton Glaser house, Woodstock NY

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.”

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Celebrities, Chelsea, Cool Listings, Historic Homes

323 West 21st Street, Cool Listings, Chelsea, Firehouse, Manhattan Rental, Historic Homes, Andy Warhol, carriage house

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.

Find out more about this iconic home

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