The historic mansions of Riverdale never fail to impress, and this gem is no exception. Built in 1899 and known as the Esmeralda, the home has maintained many of its historic details over the years. Throughout formal dining and living areas, as well as all nine bedrooms, you’ll find finishes like hardwood flooring, oak doors, wood-beamed ceilings and fireplaces. The property also comes with an impressive degree of privacy, as you enter through a long, gated driveway. For this level of exclusivity and historic charm, the price tag is $4.129 million.
Screen cap via NYT
Just down the street from the now-closed modernist treasure trove and icon that was the Four Seasons in Manhattan’s east 50s is a lesser-known architectural treasure. Philip Johnson’s 1950 Rockefeller Guest House is one of a handful of private residences the architect designed for New York City clients. The house is a designated historic and architectural landmark, but a subtle one that’s easily missed on the quiet street–as the New York Times puts it, “the house doesn’t give up its secrets easily.” Once you spot the home’s brick-and-glass facade, though, it’s hard not to be enthralled.
Nearly a year ago, the National Academy Museum & School listed their three stunning Carnegie Hill properties for $120 million–two interconnected townhouses at 1083 Fifth Avenue and 3 East 89th Street and a 65-foot-wide school building on East 89th Street. Though the original listing touted the possibility to create an epic, single-family mega-mansion, there have been no takers, and the buildings are now asking a reduced $78.5 million (h/t WSJ). Along with the price chop comes fresh interior images of the townhouses and their palatial layouts, intricate moldings, dripping chandeliers, and regal spiral staircase.
This historic brick colonial is known as the Guilford Bower House, named after the Guilford Bower Farm established here in 1854 (h/t CIRCA). The former farm occupies 54 acres at 707 Albany Post Road, in the upstate town of Gardiner. The property has been restored “true to its beginnings,” as the listing says, with stained glass details, pocket doors and tin ceilings. (The reno was so accurate, in fact, the property is now on the National Register of Historic Places.) For this grand, sprawling estate, it will cost you $1.85 million.
It’s also more modern than you might think. In 1909, noted architect and urban planner Grosvenor Atterbury, employed with the firm McKim, Mead and White, was, with partner Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. (son of the famous landscape architect) commissioned to plan a new community in Forest Hills, Queens. The result was one of the first–and most successful–uses of the prefabricated housing process that we’ve seen to date. These rarely-on-the-market homes–like this semi-detached brick townhome at 20 Ingram Street–have withstood the test of time, possessing both a timeless quality and, in this case, a fascinating sense of an early modern era long past but still somehow present in these unique rooms.
Rare East Coast Eichler home asking $490K shows off its unique modern design with new interior photos, Tue, March 14, 2017
The single-floor house at 130 Grotke Road in Chestnut Ridge, NY really is, as the listing boasts, a “unique home straight out of the pages of CA Modern Magazine.” 6sqft previously covered the home–one of a trio of East Coast Eichlers; the four-plus-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot 1962 slate gray beauty is on the market for $489,900. Joseph L. Eichler, whose modernist tract homes can be found throughout Northern California as well as the Greater Los Angeles area, was one of the most prolific residential homebuilders of the mid-20th century. Today, his homes are “collected” by modern design buffs for their ahead-of-their-time design and anti-McMansion cachet.
Yes, there are Eichler homes in New York! They are sometimes called “lost Eichlers,” as most of noted mid-20th-century developer Joseph Eichler’s homes exist in Northern and, to a lesser degree, Southern California. Three custom-built Eichler houses were constructed (and still stand) in the Rockland County, New York community of Chestnut Ridge, just north of Eichler’s hometown of New York City.
Joseph L. Eichler, whose modernist tract homes can be found throughout the Bay Area in Northern California as well as the Greater Los Angeles area, was one of the most celebrated residential homebuilders of the mid-20th century. His homes are enthusiastically “collected” by modern design buffs, and their renovations appear on the covers of design and home decor magazines like Dwell and Metropolitan Home.
This four-unit, 19th-century townhouse at 52 South 6th Street isn’t your average Williamsburg dwelling, if only because 19th-century townhouses are the exception in the trendy north Brooklyn neighborhood. This particular home, however, didn’t get the memo and awaits with sunny interiors, gardens, and a waterfront spot where–according to the listing–you can watch the boats on the East River from your front porch, all for $4 million.
If you thought Brooklyn Heights only offered blocks of historic townhouses, think again: this carriage house at 6 Grace Court Alley, a private, one-block row that’s made up exclusively of 19th-century residential carriage homes. And while the exterior certainly looks historic, the interior has been opened up, modernized, and filled with light thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights. After last selling in 2011 for $2.7 million, it’s now trying for a cool $10 million.
Now here’s an opportunity to own something really unique, if you’re willing to decamp New York City to run a historic hotel upstate. The Pleasant Beach Hotel, at 14477 Fancher Avenue in Fairhaven, has hit the market for $975,000. Less than $1 million will get you a nine-room hotel, as well as a bar, restaurant, private pier, and an attached owner’s apartment. With incredible views out toward Lake Ontario, this hotel has been in business since 1910… and is looking for its tenth owner to carry on the traditions of the charming waterfront getaway.
$1.6M Washington Heights row house is on a hidden historic street across from Manhattan’s oldest home, Mon, February 27, 2017
In the heart of the Jumel Terrace Historic District in Washington Heights, already known for the Morris Jumel Mansion, the oldest house in Manhattan, the quaint row houses of Sylvan Terrace are tucked away on one of the city’s “secret” streets. The mansion is not only famous for being General George Washington’s temporary headquarters during the Revolutionary War but for hosting dignitaries from John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton; in more modern times, “Hamilton” fans may know it as being the spot where the musical’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda penned songs from the Broadway hit. The historic row of houses, built in the 1880s, was restored by the Landmarks Preservation Commission; 16 Sylvan Terrace was further renovated by its current owners and is now on the market for $1.625 million.
A standout even among the region’s Great Camps, the secluded Camp Uncas was built in 1895 by Brooklynite William West Durant, who is credited with perfecting the iconic Adirondack Great Camp style. The compound’s biggest claim to fame, however, is that it once belonged to financier J.P. Morgan, who purchased the 1,500 acre property from Durant in 1897; for the fifty years that followed, it served as a vacation home for Morgan and his family. Though the property has traded hands several times since, the appeal of its iconic architecture remains as compelling as its history. Designated as a national landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2010, this historically significant piece of the Adirondacks is for sale for $2.7 million, reduced from its original 2015 ask of $3.25M.
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.
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.
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.
1924 cliffside Riverdale castle-cottage has magical river views, a Broadway pedigree and a $2.6M ask, Fri, February 17, 2017
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.
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.
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.
Historic Calvert Vaux-designed co-op that was once a refuge for girls, now asks $1.35M as a cozy duplex, Thu, February 2, 2017
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.”
‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ screenwriter lists Chelsea townhouse with a private yoga studio for $7.1M, Fri, January 20, 2017
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.
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.