Built in the 1830s when this quiet, tree-lined residential block was home to well-to-do families, the four-story, 3,600 square-foot Greek Revival townhouse at 240 West 21st Street has seen a lot of change through the years. From its beginnings as an impressive residence for a successful engraver (h/t Daytonian), the home has been a boarding house, apartments and, in more recent years, the well-designed and thoroughly updated home of screenwriter/directors Leora Barish and Henry Bean (Barish wrote the screenplay for the cult favorite Madonna film “Desperately Seeking Susan” and the more recent “Basic Instinct 2;” Bean wrote and directed the award-winning film “The Believer”). The Chelsea townhouse, on the market for $7.1 million, is once again a comfortable single-family home boasting several terraces and a big, bright garden-facing yoga studio.
240 West 21st Street
‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ screenwriter lists Chelsea townhouse with a private yoga studio for $7.1M, Fri, January 20, 2017
The term used in the listing to describe this renovated four-bedroom townhouse in the residential midst of bustling Chelsea is “intelligently modernized,” and it fits. The 3,600-square-foot townhouse at 240 West 21st Street, built in 1840, has, like most of its kind, a long and storied history; constructed as a family home (in this case for the well-to-do Hanks family) it saw generations of residents through the best and worst of times.
But unlike some, this particular residence has emerged once more as a spacious and comfortable single-family home with more perks than quirks and is now on the rental market for $18,000 a month. Summer is a fine time to enjoy its sun-dappled leafy back yard and private upper deck. A hip loft-style kitchen and lots of brick set the interiors apart from some of its historic counterparts, and a slightly unusual layout means the living room is in the back–where the sunshine is.