There are few things in life more charming than a gnome. We’re willing to bet Americans would take more vacations if they could just pack that little guy from Travelocity along with them. Well, we’ll do you one better. We are talking an actual gnome house. That’s right, this $14,000 rental at 316 East 59th Street was once home to Gnome Bakers, a little bakery that sold oddly shaped breads and rolls.
Gnome Bakers acquired the building in 1930 and designed it to look like a home where gnomes would actually bake (presumably). They even went so far as including a large gnome eating papier-mâché bread out front, and check out the guy sitting on the roof above. Unfortunately, the bakery filed for bankruptcy in the early 1930s and the mystical little creatures vanished along with them. Since that time, the building has been home to many businesses, including an exterminator and a kitchen furnishing store.
However, the gnome surely left some of his magic in this enchanting home. There are exposed brick walls in every room of the 1,800-square-foot penthouse, and the floors throughout are either wide plank Brazilian cherry or custom tile. The 36 x 23-foot great room features 27-foot ceilings and a Vermont Castings Defiant Encore woodstove for curling up by the fire.
Sharing the main space is an open gourmet kitchen with high-end appliances and custom cherry cabinets. And that’s not all. It also has a “built in ironing board, knife rack, lid rack, recycling container, garbage container, spice rack, step ladder, extension table with interior cutting board, all encased in fossil stone tile.” A Juliet balcony overlooks the Queensboro Bridge, and a tumbled marble tile terrace overlooks the large 47 x 24-foot backyard, which sports hanging Japanese lanterns.
The two bedrooms are downstairs. The master has a direct entrance to the backyard, his-and-hers custom mahogany closets with maple interiors, and an en suite bath with a view of the backyard. The second bedroom also has built-in closets with maple inside and outside. Its bathroom has double sinks and, according to the listing, “the longest claw-foot tub made.” 316 East 59th Street is in Midtown East, near plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment.
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Photos courtesy of Douglas Elliman and the Museum of the City of New York