This three-story, two-family Clinton Hill townhouse at 578 Myrtle Avenue, zoned to allow a commercial establishment on the ground floor, has plenty of living space and lots of income potential. Asking $2.5 million, the current setup as a painter’s single-family home and workspace further underscores the freedom and fun of townhouse living. The light-filled top floor is currently used as a studio for the artist-in-residence (his favorite subjects are “ballet dancers, bullfighters, and women of the night, lounging in opulent bedrooms,” as seen above) whose enjoyment of rouge, magenta, blue and beyond can be seen throughout the house.
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 space may be modest, but the owner of this Prospect Heights co-op at 125 Eastern Parkway has managed to pack a lot inside. Decorations abound at the studio apartment, which is now on the market asking $349,000. It’s a decent deal for an apartment right off Prospect Park, and it certainly does boast some of its own prewar charm.
Known as the Sherman Fairchild Mansion, the extraordinary modern-fronted townhouse at 17 East 65th Street is one of those New York City sights that might stop you in your tracks in the middle of an otherwise sedate Upper East Side sidewalk. The current façade of this five-story home was designed by William Hamby and George Nelson in 1940 for brilliant and prolific aviation pioneer/inventor Sherman Fairchild (well-known architect Michael Graves was commissioned to design yet another facade for the home in 1979, but that version was never built). The 25-foot-wide, 9,440 square-foot modern townhouse has been on and off the market since 2014; it’s currently asking $40,000. While the home’s exterior is provocative and unique–especially given the Upper East Side location a block from Central Park–the interiors, which have undergone a thorough renovation by the current owner, noted Renaissance art dealer Martin Zimet of French & Company, are yet another surprise.
Set sail for home in Jamaica Bay on this $59,000 houseboat, now for sale. According to its listing, the 400-square-foot model is good for year-round living and is equipped with central cooling, carpeted floors and wonderful waterfront views. Plus this “single family” vehicle has one bed, one bath, a very large covered deck and “great solar potential”—not to mention you’ve got the ocean as your playground. The listing says the houseboat, a 2007 Custom Flo-Lodge, was hauled a year ago across the Verrazano Narrows to its current docking point at Far Rockaway’s Marina 59, and has been floating there ever since.
Here’s another tiny, pricey top-floor studio calling itself a “penthouse” in a buzzy downtown Manhattan neighborhood. Except this particular diminutive dwelling really is one-(or maybe two– or three-) of-a-kind in the city: It’s a rooftop cabin. Curbed calls it “NYC’s most unusual rental.” Every so often we get a chance to marvel at these quirky homesteads perched atop otherwise ordinary apartment buildings, and we don’t know whether we’d be thrilled to bits every morning to wake up in a country cabin on a city rooftop, or if we’d be totally over it. Let’s go with thrilled to bits–and take a closer look at this unusual aerie at 15 West 28th Street, asking $4,200 in monthly rent.
Just outside of New York City in New Canaan, Connecticut is the incredible home of the late John Black Lee, a renowned mid-century architect. He designed this glass and concrete pyramid for himself into the hill overlooking the Silvermine River in 1990, and lived there until his death this April. A striking open floorplan surrounded by the glassy pyramid walls embraces the surrounding wilderness; Lee had said that “this house is the only one in New Canaan that you enter through a skylight.” It’s now on the market for $750,000 after a recent price chop of $249,000.
Just outside of New York City, at 170 Shonnard Terrace in Yonkers, you could be living like a literal king. This property is home to a stone castle with over 20 rooms replicated to reflect 16th through 18th century European style. The castle, known as Greystone Court, began as a country house in the 1880s and expanded over the years until it became its luxurious, grand current iteration. The current owner, Kohle Yohannan, purchased it in 2000 after the property had become rundown and restored the castle to its original splendor. It is now on the market for $3.95 million.
For those who prefer the water to the actual city, here’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The MacKenzie-Childs Yankee Ferry is up for sale and could actually be your next home. Built in 1907, the ferry served in World War One before it was acquired in 1921 by U.S. immigration services to serve as the Ellis Island Ferry until 1929–it is now the oldest existing Ellis Island ferry still on the water. It sold again in 1929 for use as a tour boat, served in World War Two, and then finally sold to a private owner in 1990 who began a restoration. In 2003, the ferry ended up with its latest owners, Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs, who founded the design firm MacKenzie-Childs in 1983. The couple moved it to Pier 25 in Hoboken, New Jersey to continue an oddball restoration that’s brimming with personality. It is now outfitted as a bona-fide house boat, and for $1.25 million you could be part of the ferry’s incredible history.
Edgar Allan Poe may be the American writer most closely associated with all things eerie and spooky, but surprisingly, the lovable Mark Twain has a haunted past of his own. The pristinely preserved Gothic mansion in Hartford, Connecticut where Samuel Clemens lived with his family between 1874 and 1891 (and where he wrote “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”) is said to be haunted by ghosts of Twain himself, his daughter Susy who died in 1896 of meningitis, and George Griffin, a freed slave who worked for the family. And if the paranormal activity associated with these spirits wasn’t enough to give you goosebumps, just take a look at the dark, ominous house itself through these haunting photos by Imgur user Reacher that give us a taste of the hair-raising home.
Could this insane Connecticut property break the record for the most expensive residential property ever sold in the country? Now on the market for $175 million, Great Island spans 63 acres and holds a mansion, beach cottages, a polo field, caretaker’s house with a greenhouse, yacht basin with docks, and a cow barn to boot. Such an impressive estate is owned by the family of the 19th-century industrialist William Ziegler. He acquired it in 1902 to use as a summer destination–one that rivals any other “summer house” we’ve seen. And according to The Real Deal, if this sells for its full asking price it would beat the record for priciest house ever sold in the U.S., which belongs to the 2014 sale of a $147 million home in the Hamptons.
There’s plenty of cool shipping container architecture that’s popped up around the city in recent years, from a retrofitted carriage house to the home of a radio station. But the title of first (legal) home built entirely of recycled containers goes to this architectural gem in Williamsburg, made of six stacked containers totaling 1,600 square feet. The lovely, 320-square-foot ground-floor apartment is now up for rent through Airbnb for a surprisingly affordable $96/night.
Though we can see how the otherwise potential-filled historic–and allegedly haunted–Lefferts-Laidlaw mansion at 136 Clinton Avenue in the Clinton Hill/Navy Yard/Wallabout neighborhood may terrify prospective buyers with an ask of $4.499 million, an 1878 New York Times account describes the persistent and mysterious ring-and-run situation that apparently plagued the home’s then-resident, Edward F. Smith. Neither crafty attempts to discover who was responsible for “doorbells rung, doors rattled” on a nightly basis and a brick hurled through a window, nor police intervention could produce a culprit. The house became a fixture on the map of spiritualists who held seances on the sidewalk. Locals suggested the pesky poltergeist might be either a lawyer who had committed suicide on the premises, or, as Mr. Smith suggested (possibly with some sarcasm attached as it was, after all, Brooklyn), Satan.
Eichler homes are rare on the East Coast, and why be a brand snob? This mid-20th-century gem in West Orange, NJ has plenty of modernist style and views of the NYC skyline. On a private gated road in Essex County, on the southeastern ridge of the Watchung Mountain (known for their many scenic vistas overlooking the New York City and New Jersey skylines and for their rare ecosystems of endangered wildlife, plants and rich minerals) this dramatic crescent-shaped home could be the answer to your modern house dreams. “Restored, not renovated,” the three-bedroom residence has contemporary comforts and mid-century charm, along with a well-engineered floor plan and plenty of outdoor space.
This brick schoolhouse—located at 2 Moffat Road, in the upstate town of Blooming Grove—served students all the way from 1870 to the 1960s. Then, it was converted into a residence before getting a second makeover in the 1990s. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom home, which sits on nearly an acre of land, is true country living, with an interior decorated with exposed, reclaimed wood beams, a cathedral ceiling, wide plank wood floors and a wood burning fireplace. $310,000 won’t get you much more than a studio in New York City, but it’ll buy you this old school located just 70 minutes outside Manhattan.
It’s always fun when yet another listing with a shower in the kitchen surfaces; 6sqft has covered versions of the quirky New York City phenomenon previously. The East Village and LES are the usual suspects, and this Bed-Stuy brownstone home makes the kitchen shower look positively chic. But once again, lovely, expensive Williamsburg draws the short straw. For a mere $1,574 a month ($1,604 for a two-year lease), you, too, can discover the joys of the shower beer.
To be fair, the one-bedroom at 18 Skillman Avenue has some definite selling points. It’s rent stabilized, for one, and the neighborhood is popular, convenient (except for that year without the L train) and fun.
There are just a select few opportunities to live in a lighthouse outside of New York City—$1.5 million could get you a red lighthouse upstate; $425,000 buys a lighthouse and tugboat in West Haven, CT. It’s not everyday these properties come around, but the government is currently auctioning off six of its lighthouses and one, the Penfield Reefer Lighthouse, is located just 60 miles away from Midtown Manhattan.
So titled for its window pattern that resembles a jack-o’-lantern (especially when lit up at night), this funky home in Hudson Heights has long been a hot topic in the real estate scene thanks to its unusual location extending over a cliff near the highest point in Manhattan, just north of the George Washington Bridge.
Built around 1925, the 17-foot-wide brick house was purchased in 2000 for $1.1 million by interior decorator William Spink. After doing a good deal of structural renovation, he listed it for $3.45 million in 2005, but after failing to sell, tried again in 2010 for $3.9 million. It sold the following year and is now back on the market asking $5.25 million, as first reported by Gothamist.
Anchoring a Soho building that began life as a horse stable for the fire department, this two-story live/work space at 554 Broome Street, just listed for $4.5 million, has quite a few stories to tell–though by now they may be familiar ones, as this instantly-recognizable property is no stranger to the market. First, there’s the story of the late Italian count, prince and duke who was also the relative of two popes, a Ferrari dealer, avid car collector, and playboy.
Roffredo Gaetani (full name: Roffredo Gaetani di Laurenzana dell’Aquila d’Aragona Lovatelli) was also frequent gossip column fodder in the 1990s because he and Ivana Trump (Donald’s first wife) were a high-profile item for a time. Gaetani died in a car crash in 2005, and his estate sold the racy pad to then-bachelor brothers Arash and Daniel Gohari, who are known for the far less gossip-worthy founding of the Xerxes Group real estate investment company.
New York City is full of incredible properties, but it’s not known for its castles. You have to go to New Jersey for that. Over near Bernardsville Mountain, in northern New Jersey, is the Stronghold Castle—probably one of the most impressive homes in the entire state. It’s the work of the architect George B. Post, who purchased 104 acres around the mountain in 1871. Soon after, in 1886, Post was commissioned to design a house for James Coleman Drayton, a New York banker and the son-in-law of William Backhouse Astor on one of the highest points in the area. The result? A two-story, stone villa with a tower commanding views of the estate’s 128 acres. Over the years, different owners added to the home and it evolved into this modern-day castle. Between 1940 and 1995, it served as a private girl’s school. The latest owner, who bought in 2004, restored the castle in all its grandeur while adding modern additions to make it a cozy home. (Or, as cozy as a castle can be.)