For those who prefer the water to the actual city, here’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The MacKenzie-Childs Yankee Ferry is up for sale and could actually be your next home. Built in 1907, the ferry served in World War One before it was acquired in 1921 by U.S. immigration services to serve as the Ellis Island Ferry until 1929–it is now the oldest existing Ellis Island ferry still on the water. It sold again in 1929 for use as a tour boat, served in World War Two, and then finally sold to a private owner in 1990 who began a restoration. In 2003, the ferry ended up with its latest owners, Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs, who founded the design firm MacKenzie-Childs in 1983. The couple moved it to Pier 25 in Hoboken, New Jersey to continue an oddball restoration that’s brimming with personality. It is now outfitted as a bona-fide house boat, and for $1.25 million you could be part of the ferry’s incredible history.
A plaque celebrates the unique history of this ferry. As you might guess, the ferry comes with tons of outdoor space along its decks–and the view from Hoboken is not to shabby. This trumps any typical New York terrace.
It’d be one thing just to throw a bunch of furniture in a boat and call it a house boat. But you can tell the owners have spent years decorating the interior, adding quirky details, and making it into one of the most unique New York homes ever.
What to do with a sprawling upper deck? Transform it into a sprawling, open living space (that’s flanked by deck seating on both sides). We love how dock rope has been incorporated into the interior–there’s rope holding the table from the ceiling, while it serves as a curtain around the piano.
This is far from a modernized kitchen, but it gets points for personality.
Other areas of the house boat still have their original wood floors, with wood ceiling beams.
If you were wondering if the bedrooms are just as quirky as the rest of the space, here’s your answer. The master has its own ceiling mural. Another bed was built right behind the boat’s steering wheel.
If all the decor was a distraction, here’s a reminder this was once an operating ferry. With all its history and the current design, we think it wins the title for the most unique ferry, ever. Check out the gallery for more photos.
Photos courtesy of Franklin Ruttan
Neighborhoods : Hoboken