On ‘secret’ Sylvan Terrace in Washington Heights, a renovated wood frame townhouse asks $1.8M
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On ‘secret’ Sylvan Terrace in Washington Heights, a renovated wood frame townhouse asks $1.8M

May 29, 2024

Photos courtesy of Gloria Kilbourne | DD-Reps

One of New York City’s best “secret” streets, Sylvan Terrace is a cobblestone block between 160th and 162nd Streets in Washington Heights. Originally the carriage drive for the adjacent Morris Jumel Mansion, the street has two rows of 20 wooden homes that were constructed in the 1880s for working-class locals and later restored in the 1970s and 80s. The home at 11 Sylvan Terrace recently hit the market for $1,800,000, offering a rare opportunity to own a home on one of the city’s most unique and historic streets.

No. 11 measures a little over 1,600 square feet across three levels. The current owners are actress and chef Charmaine Lord and her husband Hoagy Bix Carmichael. Carmichael is the son of Hoagy Carmichael, a prolific composer who is considered one of the most successful songwriters of Tin Pan Alley, a stretch of West 28th Street once home to a collection of music publishers at the turn of the 20th century and thought as the birthplace of American pop music.

Carmichael bought the home in 2018 for $1,625,000, according to city records. In an interview, he told Curbed he wanted a house that wasn’t some “modern blah blah.” He told the website: “I happen to like that— no, I subconsciously feast on that.”

The previous owner, architect Kenneth Lake, restored the home, adding hardwood oak floors, a larger kitchen, and an open ceiling cut to connect the garden level and the parlor. Many of the original architectural details of the 20-foot-wide home have been preserved, including the staircase and the balustrade.

The kitchen and dining area take up the entire lower floor and boast a farmhouse aesthetic, with exposed brick and natural wood accents throughout, from the beamed ceilings to the butcher block countertops. The cut in the ceiling looks up into the parlor, bringing in more sunshine and a connection to the floor above.

At the rear of this floor, a door leads to a cute back patio with an herb garden and seating area.

Also on the garden floor is a convenient pantry, a half-bath, and a vented washer/dryer.

Found up the staircase illuminated by a skylight, the top floor has two equally-sized bedrooms and a windowed bonus room that could be perfect as a home office or walk-in closet. There’s also a full bath on this level.

The home has low carrying costs at $461 per month in taxes and roughly $200 per month in energy costs because of solar panels on the roof.

Designed by Gilbert R. Robinson Jr., the homes on Sylvan Terrace were first rented by laborers and working-class civil servants. By the middle of the 20th century, the homes had fallen into disrepair. After the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Jumel Terrace Historic District in 1970, including Sylvan Terrace, all 20 residences on the block were restored with a cohesive look, with yellow exteriors, cornices, and green wooden shutters.

Sylvan Terrace connects St. Nicholas Avenue and Jumel Terrace between 160th and 162nd Streets. The Morris Jumel Mansion, Manhattan’s oldest residence and now a museum, is located at the end of the street and is connected to High Bridge Park.

[Listing details: 11 Sylvan Terrace at CityRealty]

[At Compass by Teresa Alessandro and Danielle Nazinitsky]


Photos courtesy of Gloria Kilbourne | DD-Reps

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All information furnished regarding property for sale, rental or financing is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or representation is made as to the accuracy thereof and same is submitted subject to errors, omissions, change of price, rental or other conditions, prior sale, lease or financing or withdrawal without notice. All dimensions are approximate. For exact dimensions, you must hire your own architect or engineer and for no listing shall the number of bedrooms listed be considered a legal conclusion.

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