From 1950 to 1954 jazz legend Charlie “Bird” Parker, along with his common-law wife Chan Richardson, lived in the garden-floor apartment at this townhouse at 151 Avenue B in Alphabet City. It was here, at the height of his career, that Parker and his family would share Sunday dinners at a dining table shaped like a G clef, but according to his stepdaughter Kim Parker, the saxophonist liked to keep work and personal life separate, so only classical music was played in the house.
In honor of the music great, Avenue B between 7th and 10th Streets was renamed Charlie Parker Place in 1992, and the historic 1849 Gothic Revival house was landmarked in 1999. And now you can own a piece of this history, as the Post reports that the home and its five apartments has hit the market for $9.25 million.
According to the listing, “The home includes gorgeous original details with double wood doors, a decorative relief beneath the projecting box cornice and the well-preserved pointed archway with clustered colonettes.” Inside, there’s high ceilings, well-preserved fireplaces with mantels, and original wood floors. In addition to Parker’s former garden-floor apartment, there are four full-floor units, including a penthouse with a private deck and skylights. The new owner does have the option to convert the residence back into a single-family home.
Parker’s apartment has original pocket doors, three fireplaces, and, best of all, a charming garden with beautiful landscaping and a koi pond.
Parker passed away in 1955, and in 1979, jazz booker Judy Rhodes bought the building. She allowed many of her clients to rehearse in the parlor room, including “pianists Cecil Taylor, Mal Waldron and Don Pullen, saxophonists Dewey Redman and George Adams, tumpeters Bill Dixon and Don Cherry and bassist Charlie Haden,” according to the Local East Village. Today, the sounds of jazz are still alive, as every August the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is held in Tompkins Square Park.
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Listing photos courtesy of Halstead
Neighborhoods : East Village