Just an hour north of Manhattan along the Hudson River in Irvington, New York sits Strawberry Hill Manor. The Gothic Revival mansion was built in 1850, and if its brooding gables and turrets and crumbling interiors weren’t spooky enough, there’s the fact that the original owner, John Thomas, was standing and admiring his new home when the pitchfork he was holding was struck by lightning, killing him. But if this haunted tale and the fact that the 13,000-square-foot residence is quite the fixer-upper don’t deter you, Curbed tells us that the Manor is for sale for $1,995,000.
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Just adjacent to the historic “secret” enclave of Forest Hills Gardens, Queens–a rare planned community founded in 1909–is the even more well-kept secret of Arbor Close. These garden-filled idylls share the same covenant to maintain their early 20th century “garden city” charm. Like its neighbor, Arbor Close consists of 1927-era Tudor rowhouses and apartment buildings with central gardens. Though it doesn’t happen too often, one of those rare homes, an elegant, unassuming Tudor at 111-27 75th Road, is for sale, asking $1.275 million.
It might seem contradictory that hard, angular lines and pronounced geometry could enhance the organic nature of this forested Woodstock, NY location, but UK-based designer Antony Gibbons managed to pull the juxtaposition off seamlessly with his Inhabit Treehouse. Gibbons told Inhabitat that the small family home “still blends into the surroundings with its timber materials,” which includes cedar from the surrounding Catskills Valley for the facade and a reclaimed pine interior, where he used the sharp angles to frame out views of the nearby mountains and lake.
As more and more people move to the Big Apple, the city is running out of room to house all of them. According to Mark Ginsberg of Curtis & Ginsberg Architects, even if the city were developed to the maximum capacity legally allowed, this would still only be enough room to house 9.5 million New Yorkers. Building up every square foot that has been zoned for development is impossible and the city’s population is projected to pass 9 million by 2040. At a real estate conference hosted by Crain’s last week architects from five different firms laid out their plan to serve the city’s swelling population and each focused on a specific borough.
Because you can never have too many ways to explore a city, a new architecture-based travel guide map app helps make sure you don’t miss any important architecture (h/t Curbed). Made by architectural historians, ArchiMaps points out a selection of important works like buildings and bridges. It’s currently available for Android and iOS and in four cities–New York City, Chicago, London, and Madrid–so far with more in the works including Los Angeles, Berlin and Barcelona.
Tomorrow, experience a slice of New York life in 1850 at the Merchant’s House Museum or check out a modern street photographer at The Quin. Head up to the Bronx to check out two artists who have evolved from the subway art scene, then check out Astoria’s art offerings beyond the Museum of the Moving Image. Of course, there’s the biggest party of all this weekend- PRIDEFest, so put your dancing or marching shoes on. The female gaze is debunked at a beautiful show at The Untitled Space, the romance novel cover is examined and art critic Roberta Smith speaks to SVA for a free lunchtime talk.
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This week, Governor Cuomo called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to provide Long Island Rail Road riders a discounted fare for “enduring the inconvenience of a disrupted commute.” In response, the MTA said on Tuesday that the LIRR will offer fare discounts to commuters during Penn Station’s major repairs set to begin this July. The discount will average roughly 25 percent for those traveling to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Hunters Point Avenue in Queens. Plus, according to Crain’s, commuters will receive free morning rush hour subway transfers from those two stations. Starting this week, discounted monthly tickets can be purchased at station vending machines.
Starting with a planted front garden of the sort that earned the classic Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens its name, this four-bedroom row house at 439 Sackett Street has historic Brooklyn-casual nailed, with charm and warmth throughout–and a bright dose of country caravan whimsy in the kitchen. Built in 1880, this 20-foot-wide home, asking $2.795 million, boasts wide-plank knotty pine floors along with original details like dramatic archways, ceiling medallions, crown molding and ornate stone fireplace surrounds.
Just a week ago, Meg Ryan dropped $9.4 million on an apartment in Tribeca‘s “paparazzi-proof” 443 Greenwich Street, joining fellow residents Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, and Harry Styles. This ever-growing list of celebs has now gotten even longer, as The Real Deal reports that Jake Gyllenhaal picked up an $8.63 million pad here through his Woodrow Trust.
Singer and actor Harry Connick Jr. and his wife, former Victoria’s Secret model Jill Goodacre, bought this 4.6-acre Connecticut estate, a former dairy farm, in 1998 for $1.54 million. After a two-year renovation and nearly 20 years raising their three daughters here, the couple has decided to part ways with the rustic New Canaan home, listing it for $7.5 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The seven-bedroom main house, once a barn built in the 1890s, is joined by a heating pool and pool house, another former barn that serves as a gym and storage, and a third smaller barn where Connick writes music.
Sometimes you don’t need to go far to escape the frenzy of the city. Forget about charming mountain retreats or luxury seaside homes, this humble beauty provides the perfect place to escape it all right in a Boerum Hill, Brooklyn backyard. Crafted by local studio Hunt Architecture using salvaged cedar and fence pickets, the Brooklyn Garden Studio is a grown-up version of the classic treehouse.
A floating pool with its own river-cleaning filtration system is coming to New York City, but it has yet to find a home. The $20 million +POOL project was first announced in 2010 and originally was meant to open by this summer. However, as DNAInfo reported, the team is still working with the city to find a site for its plus-shaped swimming pool that will include four pools in one; a kiddie pool, sports pool, lap pool and a lounge pool. The pool is designed to filter the river that it floats in through the walls of the pool, allowing New Yorkers to take a dip in river water.
General Lee Avenue and Robert E. Lee’s former home on Fort Hamilton, via Jeremy Bender/Business Insider
When four Confederate statues were removed in New Orleans last month, many sided with Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan, but others felt it was an attempt to erase history. Nevertheless, the monuments all came down, prompting national elected officials to take notice–even here in NYC. As 6sqft previously explained, there exists a General Lee Avenue and a Stonewall Jackson Drive in Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton, the city’s last remaining active-duty military base, and a group of local politicians has sent a letter to Army Secretary Robert Speer asking that they both be renamed, with Colin Powell and Harriet Tubman suggested as possible replacements (h/t Gothamist).
Out of all of the world’s cities, New York City surprisingly does not have the most unaffordable rental market. In a report released by RENTCafe, Mexico City beats Manhattan as the worst urban area for renters, with 60 percent of their income being spent on housing. However, Manhattan continues to be extremely unaffordable, with residents putting 59 percent of their income toward rent. Affordability levels are not much better in the three other U.S. cities that made the list; Chicago, San Francisco and L.A. have rent-to-income ratios of 38, 41, and 47 percent respectively.
Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux debuted Prospect Park to the Brooklyn masses in 1867. And this year, we get to celebrate. What has become Brooklyn’s most iconic park is in its 150th anniversary, and the history along the way is fascinating. Though Olmsted and Vaux had already designed Central Park, they considered this their masterpiece, and much of the pair’s innovative landscape design is still on display across all 585 acres. But it was the result of a lengthy, complicated construction process (Olmsted and Vaux weren’t even the original designers!) as well as investment and dedication from the city and local preservationists throughout the years. After challenges like demolition, neglect, and crime, the Parks Department has spent the past few decades not only maintaining the park but restoring as much of Olmsted and Vaux’s vision as possible.
It’s safe to say that these days, Prospect Park is just as impressive as when it first opened to the public. And of course, throughout its history the park has had no shortage of stories, secrets and little-known facts. 6sqft divulges the 10 things you might not have known.