Prolific writer and leader of the Harlem Renaissance Langston Hughes lived at 20 East 127th Street, an 1896 brownstone, in the 1950s and ’60s, until he passed away in 1967. As Curbed notes, in more recent years, the ivy-covered, landmarked home has been plagued by lawsuits over its use and maintenance. The current owner listed it for $1.2 million in 2009, but it didn’t sell even after the price was lowered in 2010. Today, it’s estimated to be worth more than $3 million, though it’s sitting vacant with its paint chipping.
But local writer Renee Watson has big plans for the house that don’t involve a multi-million-dollar sale that could potentially gut the interior, where Hughes’ typewriter still sits on a shelf. CNN Money reports that she’s launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $150,000 to rent the home, renovate it, and turn it into a cultural center for Harlem-based artists.
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The historic Harlem brownstone of author, poet, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou listed for $5.1 million in February, and after a drop to $4.95 million in March, it’s now found a buyer for a reduced price of $4 million, The Real Deal tells us.
Dr. Angelou purchased the four-story home, built in 1909 in the Mount Morris Park Historic District, sight unseen in 2002 to serve as her northeast residence when she wasn’t teaching at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. But she didn’t move in until 2004 (vandals had turned it into a “dilapidated shell”), when East Harlem-based architect Marc Anderson had completed a gut renovation that added contemporary amenities such as an elevator, two skylights, and a basement entertainment area, while retaining historic details like the original oak-front door, wainscoting, carved banister, and decorative fireplaces.
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William H. Reynolds may not be a recognizable name in New York City history today, but back in his day he was known as an influential real estate developer, politician, and entrepreneur who developed much of Prospect Heights. He is responsible for this lovely townhouse at 323 Sterling Place, located right off Grand Army Plaza. Over the years much of the interior has been preserved, so the home feels like a time machine taking you back to the days Reynolds was building up the neighborhood.
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Besides being a newly-hot neighborhood, Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant holds one of the city’s finest collections of historic brownstones. Though many beautiful homes didn’t survive the neglect of the late 20th century, many that did have been remarkably preserved or painstakingly restored to their original splendor. One of the highest concentrations of those impressive townhouses can be found in the Stuyvesant Heights Historic District in the south-central part of the neighborhood.
It’s here that you’ll find this landmarked four-story home at 407 Stuyvesant Avenue, just arrived on the market for $2.875 million. According to the listing, baseball icon and civil rights pioneer Jackie Robinson lived here, and the brokers tell 6sqft that this was his first residence in Brooklyn. They add that when the current owners moved in, they found a treasure trove of memorabilia. So let’s just say this 20-foot-wide Romanesque Revival-style brownstone hits it out of the park when it comes to intact historic detail and unspoiled 19th century architecture.
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It’s pretty rare to come across an historic home that manages to be “sophisticated and elegant” with “prolific original architectural details” and also be a block from Prospect Park. But this amazing Park Slope townhouse, a restored Romanesque brownstone, “perfectly integrates historic detailing with a modern sensibility” and boasts a professional-grade gym in the basement and a private landscaped rose garden.
The 6,000 square feet of perfection at 178 Eighth Avenue, which probably already has plenty of offers over its $8 million ask, is luxurious in the best possible way, from gorgeous chandeliers to wall treatments that have plenty of flair but never veer into the whimsical or look “decorated.” There’s not an ostentatious frill or questionable architectural choice in sight; no Hermès leather walls. No spotlit purse-cochere. It’s almost too understated in places, but not even close to austere.
Take a look at the house and fail to drool.
There’s so much to love about this 4,100-square-foot, four-story limestone townhouse at 271 Stuyvesant Avenue we hardly know where to start. For lovers of historic homes, this 1890s townhouse has a bounty of intact original details on every floor, from fireplaces to inlaid parquet floors to moldings and wainscoting. It’s in a great corner spot in the prized Stuyvesant Heights historic district, the Bed-Stuy neighborhood known for its rows of architecturally notable brownstones and limestones. There’s outdoor space and a deck; use the garden-level apartment for extra income (or live in the lower unit, with the yard and finished cellar).
But perhaps the most rare blessing of this property is that proceeds from the sale of the $2.795 million home will “enable the launch of a non-profit creative residency for marginalized youth,” founded by the current owner, renowned photojournalist and Guggenheim Fellow Brenda Kenneally.
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In September, 6sqft uncovered the listing for 136 West 130th Street, the brownstone owned by Emmy-nominated “All My Children” regular and current “Entertainment Tonight” correspondent Cameron Mathison and his wife, Vanessa. The couple bought the four-bedroom home for $1.2 million in 2004 after house hunting and falling in love with Harlem‘s “Sesame Street” vibe. It had already been through a substantial developer-led renovation, but Mathison finished up the job, creating an urban oasis that’s a mix of classic charm and contemporary fixes.
Though the Canadian actor told the Times in 2009 that he “envisioned being in this place forever,” the plans changed when the TV show moved studios to Los Angeles. That same year, the couple listed the four-story home for $2.7 million, followed by a price cut to $2.5 million in 2011. There were no takers, so they rented the property out for $6,900 a month, before re-listing it this past fall for $2.9 million. Despite moving back to NYC, Luxury Listings NYC reports that the soap opera heartthrob has now sold the residence for $3.3 million, pretty significantly over ask.
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When you think “historic Brooklyn brownstone,” this restored Park Slope home is likely to at least come close to what’s on your mind–and more likely to hit a bullseye. Perfectly-preserved flourishes and original details frame every room, including decorative moldings, original oak floors and Lincrusta wallcoverings, adding up to elegance you don’t usually find in such flawless condition.
Yet there’s nothing old-fashioned about daily life in this five-bedroom, 3,680-square-foot triplex currently seeking tenants at $15,000 a month. You’ll get zoned central air and heat, a laundry room with a washer/dryer, a kitchen that’s ready for cooking and entertaining a crowd, baths filled with luxurious details, and countless other ways this pretty period piece has been optimized for modern life.
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The home of designer Fawn Galli is an eclectic and vibrant combination of colors, patterns and style, reflecting her not-so- typical childhood (she spent her early years living in a California home without electricity or plumbing) and and rich design background (she spent time abroad in Paris and Madrid). Located in Carroll Gardens, the Brooklyn brownstone is inspired by fantasy, nature and the world at large, bringing together unexpected combinations of style and influence.
During the last decade of her life, author, poet, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou split her time between Winston-Salem, NC (she taught American studies at Wake Forest University) and New York. While in the Northeast, she resided in an historic Harlem brownstone, located at 58 West 120th Street in the Mount Morris Park Historic District, according to the Times, which is now on the market for $5.1 million.
The four-story home was built in the early 1900s, but when Dr. Angelou purchased it sight unseen in 2002, “it was a dilapidated shell…the victim of vandals, with missing stairs and rotting floor beams.” She hired architect Marc Anderson of East Harlem-based firm M. Anderson Design to oversee a gut renovation that preserved the brownstone’s historic details while adding contemporary amenities.
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