If you’re going to inhabit a couple of floors of a brownstone, the top choice is definitely a parlor-garden combo; you get the grandeur of high ceilings, huge rooms and lots of light on the parlor floor, and then–ideally–you get a lower level that opens out to a pretty backyard. If you’re extra lucky, the parlor floor has access down to the yard as well. This beautifully-restored duplex at 75 Willoughby Avenue in Fort Greene is just that perfect combination–hence the $7K a month rent. But what you get–three bedrooms, two baths, a gorgeous private backyard accessible from both floors in a mint-condition historic townhouse with all the trimmings–is about as good as it gets.
This three-story 1890 townhouse at 53 East 75th Street fits in perfectly with its neighbors on a classically elegant Upper East Side street just two blocks from Central Park. On the rental market for $35,000 a month, this tony triplex gives you over 4,000 square feet of living space, including an elevator and plenty of windows and sunlight, particularly from the kitchen’s wall of solarium windows–great for soaking up rays on winter days.
Explore all three floors
Back in 2006, this 3,500 square-foot four-story Upper East Side townhouse first surfaced on the rental market, and again three years later; in 2010, its owner attempted to find a renter for the winter holiday season (a portion of December) apparently without much luck. After bouncing through several different agencies, 127 East 78th Street landed at Sotheby’s in 2011 with the intent of marketing the house as a summer rental for $25K; not much luck there either, as townhouse renters tended to want something more long term. A lesson seems to have been learned here, as there are no short-term stipulations mentioned in its new listing for $27,500.00 a month.
What is mentioned is more interesting: The townhouse once belonged to famous fashion photographer Milton Greene–known for his collaboration with Marilyn Monroe on photo shoots as well as their joint film production company–and his wife, Amy. Marilyn considered the home a sanctuary among friends when she was in town. And though its interiors have likely been updated since Marilyn’s day, the elegant Upper East Side enclave still retains the aura of an East Coast refuge for Old Hollywood.