Houdini image: Wikimedia Commons.
The 6,008-square-foot four-story townhouse at 278 West 113th Street that once belonged to master escape artist Harry Houdini has sold for $3.6 million–a full $1 million below its original ask–according to Mansion Global. 6sqft reported last June that the former home of the illusionist, magician and one of the most talked-about celebrities of the early 20th century and his wife, Bess, had hit the market for $4.6 million. Houdini–born Erich Weiss, the son of a rabbi from Budapest, lived at the Harlem home for 22 years until his death in 1926.
The home is currently set up as a three-family dwelling with an owners’ duplex on the first two floors and two floor-through rental apartments above, but it could easily escape the confines of that configuration to become an architecturally unique and grand 6,000-square-foot single-family home. Though it’s not a showcase of historic detail, ornate wood in the entryway, original wood floors and some tin ceilings remain.
On the garden level, a large eat-in kitchen could use an update, though the basics are present and accounted for. The kitchen opens onto a leafy landscaped patio that looks like it would make a great escape for anyone, magician or not. Also on the garden level are a spacious living room with tin ceilings and a bedroom with a full bath.
On the parlor floor is a master bedroom with an en-suite bath and a large dressing area along with tall townhouse windows and gorgeous herringbone floors.
The second-floor apartment has one bedroom plus a small office and can be rented for $2,800 (according to the listing); the top-floor apartment offers two bedrooms and an office and brings in $3,200.
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Images courtesy of Douglas Elliman.
Neighborhoods : Harlem