Once owned by Edna St. Vincent Millay, New York’s narrowest house asks for $ 5 million



The Victorian-era townhouse at 75 ½ Bedford Street in the West Village has a reputation for being New York’s narrowest house (some claim 39 Saint Marks Place is leaner, but as the Greenwich Village Preservation Society, it’s technically part of another building.)

The townhouse at 75 1/2 Bedford Street is widely regarded as New York’s skinniest residential home. It is also known as Maison Millay, as the famous poetess Edna St. Vincent Millay lived there with her husband in the early 1920s.

75 ½ Bedford has changed hands three times in the past 21 years, most recently in 2013, and is now on the market for $ 4,990,000. Located at the southwest corner of Bedford and Commerce streets, this slender three-story structure measures only nine and a half feet wide on the outside, a maximum of eight feet and one inch wide on the inside and 35 Deep feet. Its 999 square feet contains three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a finished basement.

It is estimated that it will be built in 1873, 75 ½ Bedford Street was built above what was originally a carriage entrance for the neighboring Hettie Hendricks-Gomez estate, built in 1799 and considered to be the oldest neighborhood house. The townhouse has a Dutch architectural touch with a brick exterior, oversized black lead windows, and a stepped gable added in the 1920s.

Renovated by the current owner, the three-story space includes smart built-in storage that maximizes efficiency inside the home. Original exposed beams, four wood-burning fireplaces, two balconies and a patio leading to the communal garden are also major assets.

Current owner George Gund IV bought it for $ 3.5 million eight years ago and has completely renovated the interior. The bright, all-white walls provide a nice contrast to the light-wood floors, as well as the original exposed beams and four wood-burning fireplaces. While these elements, along with a remodeled kitchen, ample storage space through smart built-in elements, two balconies, and a quaint communal courtyard, are enough to spark buyers’ interest, the key to understanding its physical value is to spend time in space.

“Once you walk in it’s very spacious,†says broker Hannah Oh, who is listing the property for sale to Nest Seekers International. “People expect it to be very small – almost a micro-life, but there is more space than you might think.”

While the townhouse is 35 feet deep, the widest space inside is eight feet and one inch and the narrowest point is two feet wide.

Although 75 ½ Bedford is more difficult to sell in a post-pandemic market, it has been popular in the past due to its historical value. The residence is located near the Cherry Lane Theater, a 98-year-old theater company that rented the house when it opened to actors like Cary Grant and John Barrymore who lived there during the performances. Its most famous former resident is Edna St. Vincent Millay, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, who lived there with her husband between 1923 and 1925. Anthropologist Margaret Mead also lived there.

On the second floor of the master suite there is a freestanding tub and enclosed shower that faces a rear balcony. The toilets are out of frame.

Gund, the owner, has never lived in 75½ Bedford, according to Oh. This is a common course of action for the more modern owners of this townhouse. A 1996 New York Times The article tells the whole story of his property, revealing that no owner has actually lived there full time for decades. Calling tenants, he opened with the line, “DO YOU HAVE what it takes to live at 75 ½ Bedford?”

The answer remains to be seen.

A skylight has been installed to allow natural sunlight to enter the upper floors, creating a surprisingly light and airy feel.

The finished basement can be used as an office, den or training room. A bathroom, two wardrobes and a laundry room are also on this floor.

The townhouse shares a courtyard with 73 and 75 Bedford Street.


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