The Wilson Hunt House: The History of a Rare 19th Century House Towed to Tribeca by Truck
In the 1970s, after obtaining landmark status in 1969, three 19th century houses were actually towed by truck from a no-longer-existing stretch of Washington Street to avoid demolition in the Washington Market Urban Renewal area (a 38-acre site planned by the city’s Housing and Development Administration during the 1960s and 1970s, 10 blocks north of what would become the World Trade Center). Their final destination? Next to three already existing townhouses on Harrison Street, a quiet site that was once the well-known farm of alleged skirt lifter, and one of NYC’s first settlers, Annetje Jans. In 1976, New York City put them up for sale (from $35,000 to $75,000) following a restoration by Oppenheimer, Brady & Vogelstein the year before. And more recently, nearly four decades after the sale, CORE brokers Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon exclusively listed 37 Harrison Street with surprising results.
A past look after the move
The updated home
Formally 327 Washington Street, and christened ‘The Wilson Hunt House’, the three-story corner Federal style house was updated in brick in a Flemish bond pattern – the 21-foot- wide house features a private garden, six wood-burning fireplaces, soaring ceilings with exposed beams and original arched dormers. The home was listed in April for the son of the original owners who bought the 1828 townhouse for a mere $55,000 back in 1976.
The moment Postilio and Conlon posted the listing, more than 100 interested buyers (including actor Jake Gyllenhaal) lined up one rainy Sunday for its very first open house. “Though we listed it at $3.75 million, we had a crazy bidding war that resulted in a final selling price of $5.5 million,” said Postilio. “That’s 100 times the price paid by the original owners in 1976!” (And 46.7-percent more than the asking price.)
Of course, the stellar sale comes as no surprise as the Wilson Hunt House is one of a group of nine Federal houses whose scale and profile exist nowhere else in the city. Couple this with its prime location and you’ve got quite the winning property.
Though this historic home is now off the market, if you have a penchant for history and landmarked buildings, the CORE team has another beauty in their pocket: a gorgeous 2,000-square-foot penthouse with a lushly landscaped 1,521-square-foot terrace atop an 1877 Gothic Revival building. Known as Landmark at 17 at 233 East 17th Street in the Stuyvesant Square Historic District, this three-bedroom home also features a wood-burning fireplace and 13-foot-high ceilings in the living room as well as a towering 20-foot-high atrium above the custom-designed chef’s kitchen. This extraordinary penthouse is priced at $5.395 million and is worth a gander—if not an offer!