In 2006, construction crews discovered a 13-foot section of the wooden water mains under Beekman Street near the South Street Seaport, photo courtesy of Chrysalis Archaeology
At the turn of the 18th Century, New York City had a population of 60,515, most of whom lived and worked below Canal Street. Until this time, residents got their water from streams, ponds, and wells, but with more and more people moving in, this system became extremely polluted and inefficient. In fact, in the summer of 1798, 2,000 people died from a yellow fever epidemic, which doctors believed came from filthy swamp water and led the city to decide it needed a piping system to bring in fresh water. Looking to make a personal profit, Aaron Burr stepped in and established a private company to create the city’s first waterworks system, constructing a cheap and ill-conceived network of wooden water mains. Though these logs were eventually replaced by the cast iron pipes we use today, they still live on both under and above ground in the city.
The whole history here
A 187-year-old carriage house at 29 Downing Street on a quintessential West Village block has appeared in print for so many reasons it’s hard to name them all–starting with the six-degrees-of-“Hamilton” fact that it was built in 1829 on land owned by third U.S. vice president Aaron Burr. 6sqft featured the historic home owned by artists John Bennett and Karen Lee Grant in early 2015 when it was listed for $13 million. The homeowners’ vision reflected in this remarkable art studio, gallery and living space was featured in House Beautiful, Elle and two coffee table books; the Wall Street Journal called the 25-foot-wide home a “time capsule of development in the West Village.” Not only is it one of the most photographed homes in the neighborhood, it’s also among the oldest. Purchased by Bennett in 1977 for $155,000 with the help of a loan from the previous homeowners, the house recently sold for $6.8 million–about half the original ask–after two years on the market and several broker changes and price chops (h/t Curbed).
Get a peek inside this rare slice of Village life
It seems the hype of “Hamilton” the musical is having an affect on the real estate market. Just five months ago, the former East Village home of Alexander Hamilton, Jr. sold for $10 million, and now a rowhouse across town in the West Village that was once owned by Aaron Burr, who famously killed his father, is hitting the market for $5.75 million. The Post reports that the charming brick, Federal-style home at 17 Commerce Street sits on land that Burr owned just north of his country estate during the turn of the 18th century.
More history and a look through the house
, Fri, September 19, 2014
You won’t find any paint-splattered masterpieces here, but you will get the exclusive bragging rights of saying you live in the former home of Jackson Pollock at 46 Carmine Street. And if that wasn’t enough of a conversation starter, the Greenwich Village building was once owned by Aaron Burr.
Million Dollar Listing New York star Luis D. Ortiz announced the $1.25 million listing via Instagram, which is not surprising considering how photogenic this one-bedroom, top-floor unit is. The 800-square-foot home boats 14-foot, Tudor-style beamed ceilings with skylights; exposed whitewashed brick walls; and a cozy fireplace.
Tour the former Pollock pad