Would You Pay $4.3 Million for NYC’s Skinniest House?

by hookedonhouses on July 1, 2011

How much would you be willing to shell out for a house that’s only about 8 feet wide? Would $4.3 million be too much to ask? What if it is famous for being New York City’s narrowest house? And Cary Grant supposedly lived here at one time?

The house sold for only $2.175 million in 2010, so the eyebrow-raising price hike a mere year later seems a little shocking. For an explanation, the listing says it has been “meticulously renovated with beautiful modern finishes, yet retains its original character and pedigree.”

When a house is this small, those must be some pretty amazing renovations to warrant an extra $2 million and change, don’t you think?

It was built around 1850. It has 4 wood-burning fireplaces and the original exposed beams.

The townhouse sits on “one of the most picturesque blocks in the West Village.” And it’s not cheap to live on a picturesque block in the Village.

There are 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. At least one of the bedrooms has a Murphy Bed that pulls down from inside the wall. I think it might be this one:

As I mentioned, they say Cary Grant lived here awhile. (Grant’s former home in Palm Springs, CA, is for sale here.) But it’s known as The Millay House because the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay lived here for a short time in the 1920s, as this plaque explains:

I featured this townhouse when it was on the market last time, so you can compare the newly renovated version here to how it looked in late 2009 here: The Narrowest House in New York City.

Want it? For more information about 75.5 Bedford Street, check the listing.

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Luciane at Homebunch.com July 1, 2011 at 8:35 am

NO way!!!

I mean, I never really had the dream of living in NYC, especially with 3 kids. It’s not a place to raise kids imo. Besides, it’s too expensive. I prefer living in a calming town where you could buy a mansion for $ 4 mil, if you wished.

Wishing you a beautiful long weekend!


Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Nicole July 1, 2011 at 8:36 am

I just recently posted about this house on my blog. And, yes, that room that you suspect has the Murphy bed is the right one. I included a video walkthrough with Barbara Corcoran via MSNBC which shows the Murphy bed, among other things. If you’re interested, check it out at http://coliescrafts.blogspot.com/2011/06/new-yorks-skinniest-house.html.

Karena July 1, 2011 at 8:43 am

That is amazing!! Julia I can’t imagine anyone spending that much money on a home like this even if it is infamous!

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Maaike Quinn @ Life with FlyLady July 1, 2011 at 8:45 am

Wow, what a lovely house! I sure would love to live there. Even though 4.3 million is a lot.

handbright July 1, 2011 at 9:09 am

Wow. I had to actually visualize myself (at 5’3″) laying down on my family room floor to really understand how narrow this house really is. I’d be claustrophobic in a heartbeat. I mean, look at the fireplace in the bedroom! If you sleep on your left side you might scorch your nose! It doesn’t even get a full number address (yes I went to the listing, the address is 7.5 Bedford Street, maybe it should just be .5 Bedford Street) Funny thing is that while I’m looking into downsizing, even to the point of looking at the tiny house blog, I sure wouldnt spend 4.3 million dollars to do so. No mater ho chi chi the finishes are…
For that much money I could buy my own alley and stick in my own “future historic home”. Goodness, Barnum was right, there is a sucker born every minute!

Alison July 1, 2011 at 9:12 am

that’s some pricey pedigree…but surprisingly roomy looking for so narrow a home.

Megan July 1, 2011 at 11:07 am

That’s what struck me, too. Then again, this listing doesn’t have any furniture or paintings on the wall – when those are added, I have a feeling it will look completely different!

Kathryn Griffin July 1, 2011 at 9:52 am

Couldn’t do it! I’m with Luciane, I’d rather spend millions on a big ‘ole house with room to run around outside!

Susan July 1, 2011 at 9:56 am

It IS NYC, afterall…

Ann July 1, 2011 at 10:27 am

Obviously you have to love NY to understand why it’s even worth $2 million. I’m afraid I’m not one of those who do.

Janet July 1, 2011 at 10:53 am

Love the use of space. Buuuuut, I thought California real estate was expensive, sheesh!

Lizzy July 1, 2011 at 11:40 am

I don’t know – looking at the previous pictures, I don’t see anything that warrants the price hike!!

Kelly D July 1, 2011 at 11:57 am

Yeah, I don’t get the price hike either other than greed. I thought it was ugly before and it’s still ugly interior wise. I could live with the space but if I bought it, I’d have to redo their redo.

Amanda @ Serenity Now July 1, 2011 at 12:15 pm

If I was a single girl, that would be a great spot to live…but with kids and a dog, I don’t think it would work out. 😉 Love the Village!

laney July 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm


Patience July 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I would buy it in a minute, without a second thought. The last time I was in NYC, I made a point of walking down that street just so I could see this house.

Kim July 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm

No thanks! I have never had the desire to live in New York. Plus, I would much prefer to spend that money on a place that’s good sized and has a great yard.

Nita{ModVintageLife} July 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm

It’s pretty charming. I don’t think it’s worth an extra 2 million so quickly. But I’d live there.

Cheri @ I Heart Old Houses July 1, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I really, really love NYC…but at prices like that, I think I’d rather rent! Or buy a place in Brooklyn (not that those are cheap, either…)

Sunny July 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Maybe if I was super rich, and lived alone.

I was lucky enough to live across the street, at 90 Bedford (The “Friends” bldg.) in the early 90s. I can tell you that this is one of the cutest blocks in the most charming neighborhood in NYC.

I remember seeing the house in a couple Law & Order episodes, and Harrison Ford’s character in ‘Working Girl’ lives a couple houses down from the Millay house.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane…

'Aunt Amelia' July 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Wow! Talk about a “shotgun house” hu?


Brenda Kula July 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm

I’m positively besotted with small houses. But this one’s too expensive for this gal!

Nita July 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Talk about raising kids in NYC, you all MUST, MUST, MUST see the movie Motherhood, which came out I think in 2009. It is a treasure and I watched it 3 times in a row and watch it EVERY time it comes on. It shows a woman who wants to write her blog, but life gets in the way and trying to handle a birthday party for her 6 year-old daughter and trying to find and keep a parking space! It is not a comedy but the story is so wonderful. You must see it.

Ann July 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm

I’m amazed at the prices on either coast. Love your blog.

Ricki Jill Treleaven July 1, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Wow. That’s crazy money!!!

Nathan July 2, 2011 at 1:38 am

I think it will sell for close to that.

E. George July 2, 2011 at 1:47 am

Hi Julia I was watching NBC Today on Thursday and they took you inside this beautiful but small and as you say expensive townhouse I guess if I was living there and had the money just to live on that street would be the ultimate….. I was on the phone with my daughter while all this was going on she was at work and couldn’t have a look but now thanks to you she will be looking at your post after work tonight. Til next time hope you have a wonderful 4th July weekend….. Regards Esther from Sydney.

Kathy July 2, 2011 at 5:08 am

I’d never ever buy a house like this one, for this price. Seriously, 4.3 million for living in such cramped space? With beds pulled down from wall? Could work in Hong Kong, not in NYC. Maybe not everyone like spacious places, maybe in some way that house feels cosy, but I can’t imagine how someone could choose this place instead of some little mansion with big garden that can be – I believe – easily bought with those money they demand here. Oh yes, being the skinniest in NYC and previously owned by Cary Grant/Edna Millay it is unique for sure. But to be honest, I’ve never understood why someone would be excited with thought that he lives in the same place that once some famous person lived, except some really twisted fans.

Alisha July 2, 2011 at 6:25 am

I love the little courtyard out back, but I think if I was living in that house I would spend my days out in the courtyard, imagining what it would be like to live in the of the bigger houses surrounding it! It is beautiful but any house that needs a murphy bed is too small for me! I think if you have 2 million to spend on a home in New York, you could do better than that. And if you have 2 million dollars, an extra few hundred thousand dollars for a bigger place probably wouldn’t be an issue for you anyway.

Alisha July 2, 2011 at 6:26 am

I just realized this house is now over 4 million dollars…WAY too much! You could definitely find better.

mslewis July 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm

After watching the video at Nicole’s link, I think I would love to live in this small house!! It looks so lovely and New Yorkers are use to small places. I do think the $4.3M price tag is a bit high but I bet it will sell for close to that price. People love the Village.

StuccoHouse July 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Outside = charming. Inside = devoid of personality. My first house wasn’t much wider than that.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy... July 5, 2011 at 10:07 pm

O I love this place.

Angela July 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Well, I didn’t have to read the article to say, “he double hockey sticks, NO” unless that’s the original Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe portrait, and then maybe so I could sell it and make even more $$ hehehe

Patricia Dubon July 11, 2011 at 11:59 am

If i had the money why not!!!! we only live once. and when we died everything we liave behind, Just like the king Tutanka in Egypt. VIVE Y deja VIVIR…. yes i would buy it.

Natalia July 31, 2011 at 7:55 am

Would I live here? Absolutely! I love small homes, I don’t know why but I do. For me, small is cozy. Would I pay $4.3 million for it? Absolutely, NOT! I know Real Estate is high in New York City, but I live in Oklahoma and I could get so much more for $4.3 million dollars.

Doug July 31, 2011 at 11:26 am

quaint & cozy = small & dumpy. Wouldn’t bring 100K in Denver. Pathetic

MIKE July 31, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I wouldn’t pay 4.3 million for anything that didn’t have at least 40 acres attached to it.

kristie July 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Nice place, but for 4.3 mil? No thanks. I can’t imagine they will be able to find a buyer. I”m thinking they will need to come down on price. I don’t care how much wood and marble is in that place (and that can’t be much).

Well, maybe a star who wants a private crib when visiting NY. But again, 4.3 mil? a star would want high security and I’m not sure there is much security there.

Vickilynne July 31, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I think it’s a neat little house, rather charming and cozy it its own special way. Would I live there…probably not since I don’t have any great love for living in the city. Would I pay $4.3 mil for the priviledge if I did like the city AND money was not an object…not in this lifetime!! There is a point where common sense just kicks in and says GET A GRIP…THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE!! But then, a lot of times, people with money seem to lack much in the way of common sense. Just my take on it……

Dee October 21, 2011 at 10:46 am

This would be a little jewel! If I could afford it I would buy this in a NY minute. Probably a nanosecond. Or even less.

NJ Insulation Contractor January 5, 2012 at 11:30 am

I recently read an article about this house – I think it may have been in Newsweek? Anyways, that is very cute! Imagine living in such a skinny home.

Joffre Essley February 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I can’t see much of an improvement after the remodel. It looked to be in great shape. Why remodel when it is in great shape?

I am not familiar with the NY housing market, but it seems to me that prices are going down everywhere else.

Christine October 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Yes, I would live there. It would force me to be a minimalist for sure! When I win the lottery I will give the agent a call.

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