Super-Skinny West Village Townhouse, $4.3million

21320_17865“My candle burns at both ends

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.

About cara

I blog (for fun) here at casaCARA, and write (for money) about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites.
This entry was posted in HISTORIC PRESERVATION, MANHATTAN, PROPERTIES FOR SALE, REAL ESTATE/INVESTING and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Super-Skinny West Village Townhouse, $4.3million

  1. fran says:

    such a coincidence! I visited the newly opened steepletop (home of Millay in austerlitz just today with my sister and mother. it must be a Millay kind of day.

  2. cara says:

    And I was just thinking about Millay’s house in Austerlitz — I knew it had reopened recently — and wondering if you guys had been there yet!

  3. Jo Reynolds says:

    Strange pricing. I realize it’s a one-off deal, but it went for $1.6M in Nov 2000, and then $2.4M Dec 2009. The new owners immediately started on a top-to-bottom gut renovation. What do you think they spent working with a design-build firm? Maybe $200, $250 psf. This is 1K sq ft.

    That is one helluva flip.

    FWIW, for almost the same money you could have 5 Grove Court (equally famous, but the gate keeps the tourist 50 feet back). Or for just a bit more, 17 Commerce St around the corner. Both went on the market in the last month.

    Oh, to have $4-5M laying around to decide between three über cute small townhouses! All within a block or two, you could tour all three on the same day.

  4. cara says:

    Given the choice, I’ll take a wider one!

  5. Jo Reynolds says:

    75-1/2 Bedford St has a (beautiful) shared garden – Curbed did a post on it recently.

    5 Grove Court has a (beautiful) shared garden, the least private, but it does have a roof deck. Only one bedroom, scarcely bigger than the skinny house. Corcoran listing.

    17 Commerce St is the biggest with more than twice the square footage, 3 bedrooms, nice small garden *(though it is north facing) – really gorgeous looking whtie extension. I remember when it traded five years ago, I fell in love with it. Elliman listing.

  6. Terry says:

    It’s going to be tough getting to sleep tonight now that I’ve got that coffin sensation in my head.

  7. MazeDancer says:

    YouTube vids inside skinny Bedford: It’s really skinny. Some guy posted a bunch a year ago.

    It has one of those form over function kitchens. Good luck cooking on those burners.

    Plus, despite lure of Cary Grant and Margaret Mead having both slept there (separately, one assumes) no bathroom on the third floor for guests?

    Also, the other two, while gorgeous indeed, have that dreaded – IMHO – kitchen on one floor, living room on the other. Though if you have enough staff, and this is primarily a pied, not necessarily a deal breaker.

    But thanks, Cara, for posting. And thanks, Jo, for the near-by comps. All of them lovely, but also, all feature the asset/drawback of walking distance to the every fabulous restaurant Annisa.

    Love the looking. Some people play Fantasy Football, think my dream league, probably like many here, runs more to Fantasy Square Footage.

  8. MazeDancer says:

    Sorry, no edit function. Looks like the YouTube’s differ with the listing’s kitchen pics. And the ridic burners got tossed. Still, no third floor bathroom a drawback.

  9. cara says:

    Yes, Cary Grant slept here too, but as some wag once said, “probably not crosswise.” Enjoyed your fantasizing, Maze and Jo. Me, my fantasies are more realistically priced.

  10. First of all, the wood ceiling beams are amazing. I think this cute and pretty and historic house will not stay in the market for quite a long time. A whopping 4.3M dollars will not be a hindrance to someone who is very interested especially with Millay. :D

Got something to say? Please say it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s