harry houdini

Celebrities, Connecticut, Cool Listings, Historic Homes

An incredible Georgian estate in Ridgefield, Connecticut is up for auction at an asking price of $4.75 million. The 10-bedroom mansion at 162 Old West Mountain Road, also known as Sunset Hall, was owned 100 years ago by Harry Houdini’s brother, Dr. Leopold Weiss, and it’s said that the magician practiced his underwater escapes in the pool. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and sits on nearly seven acres of land with sweeping views of the Long Island Sound and Catskill Mountains. As the New York Post learned, it also has quite the celebrity pedigree. It was originally built in 1912 for U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain James Stokes and was subsequently owned by the Brooklyn beer baron Samuel Rubel and famed actor Robert Vaughn; and after WWII, it was considered for an official site of the United Nations.

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Celebrities, History, holidays, Upper East Side

Last week, a commemorative plaque was installed on the facade of the former Upper East Side home of Harry Houdini at 244 East 79th Street, marking the 90th anniversary of his death and celebrating National Magic Week. To coincide with this, the Society of American Magicians will meet tomorrow for a séance at the building’s Sojourn restaurant in hopes of contacting the great illusionist. As the Wall Street Journal notes, when he and his family moved into the top-floor studio of the boardinghouse in 1887, a young Houdini practiced his tricks and escapes in the space that now holds the eatery.

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