Townhouse once owned by President Martin Van Buren hits the market for the first time in 53 years
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Townhouse once owned by President Martin Van Buren hits the market for the first time in 53 years

April 7, 2017

You could now own a piece of New York presidential history for $4.9 million. The Federalist-style townhouse at 150 East 38th Street, in Murray Hill, was once called home by President Martin Van Buren. This is, without a doubt, one of the most unique properties in New York–besides the presidential ownership, ironwork frames the entryway, a squat structure connected to the four-story townhouse. It was built in 1857, altered in 1935, and then restored in the early 2000s. The interior will bring you back in time, with fireplaces, wood paneling and coffered ceilings.

The porched entryway leads you to into a front garden and then the townhouse, which is four stories, 20 feet wide and 3,680 square feet. In a rare design choice, the builder chose to position the townhouse almost 60 feet back from the street, according to this Streetscapes column.

A terrace off the townhouse looks out onto the courtyard, which is quite the magical green space tucked away from the bustle of 38th Street. Who knew such an amazing, quirky outdoor space existed in Manhattan?

The ground floor of the townhouse holds the powder room, kitchen (with a separate service entrance) and a dining room with a fireplace and bay window. A circular staircase takes you up to the parlor floor.

The living room, which faces the front of the house, features high ceilings, three large windows, built-in shelving and a fireplace. Facing the back of the house is a wood-paneled library with a bay window, fireplace and coffered ceilings. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, there’s a wet bar and powder room located discreetly off the library. The library then opens to the terrace, located along the back of the house and overlooking the garden.

The second floor holds two bedrooms with attached bathrooms. And while the third floor currently holds two more bedrooms (connected by an office with a fireplace), the listing suggests it could be converted to one large master bedroom, or three total bedrooms.

The Van Burens were just one owner of many who passed through the years, although as of late the building was kept in the same hands for a long period of time. This isn’t the only presidential star power in the neighborhood: a nearby townhouse at 151 East 37th Street was built by Van Buren in 1860 for his daughter. The home was later inhabited by Tennessee Williams, and hit the market last summer for $1.85 million.

[Listing: 150 East 38th Street by the Courtright Team for Douglas Elliman]


Photos courtesy of Douglas Elliman

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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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