It will not last the night;
But ah my foes, and oh my friends,
It makes a lovely light!”
– “First Figs,” Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1920
I’D LONG KNOWN THAT 75-1/2 BEDFORD STREET, aka the Edna St. Vincent Millay house, was the narrowest house in the West Village, if not all of New York City, measuring just 9-1/2 feet wide. I’d wondered what it would be like to live in such a sliver of a house, and what it looked like inside.
Now we know. The house is on the market for $4.3million (it sold in 2000 for $1.6 million). Interior photos on the realtor’s website reveal that the 1850s brick townhouse with the Dutch-style ziggurat-shaped roofline has been re-done to the nines.
It retains bits of original detail, like wood ceiling beams running crosswise (short ones!), with sterile modern kitchen and baths.
Nowhere does the listing mention the width of the house, or its square footage, but perhaps what it lacks in size it makes up for in the charm of its location and the famousness of its residents. The poet Millay, the anthropologist Margaret Mead, and the actor John Barrymore all lived in the diminutive dwelling at various times.
There are 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and four wood-burning fireplaces. Go here to read all about it.