“Homey” isn’t necessarily a word associated with Manhattan townhouses, but this handsome red-brick residence, set along a tree-lined street in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, manages it perfectly.
An artsy and primarily a residential district on the lower west side, with wide economic, social and ethnic diversity, the Chelsea neighborhood runs from 14th Street to 34th Street, with those twenty blocks hosting a multitude of art galleries and retail businesses. Because of the nearby Hudson River piers, the neighborhood developed along industrial lines. By the time of the Civil War, the area was known for distilleries, making turpentine and lamp fuel, as well as the Manhattan Gas Works, which converted coal to gas. Local workers and residents were typically working class, as many still are today, but the area has also long attracted artists.
One of the neighborhood’s early settlers was Clement Clark Moore, who wrote “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” more commonly known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” its opening line, as well as the first Greek and Hebrew lexicons printed in the United States. Just about 25 years after he penned “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” this 17-foot-wide townhouse was built, circa 1848, and Moore would probably be astonished to hear that the place, which probably once housed a working-class family — or maybe several — is being offered for sale at $9.5 million.
With five floors, a two-level backyard, and a rooftop terrace, this 19th-century beauty has been gorgeously renovated to mix clean-lined sophistication with comfy, casual living. There are a total of five bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms across the 4,500-square-foot townhouse that is being marketed by Victoria Reichelt at Corcoran.
A classic stoop entrance leads to the front door of the main part of the house, where the parlor floor boasts 11.5-foot ceilings. Both the street-facing dining room and the lounge area in the spacious, white-marble eat-in kitchen have a fireplace. Stairs outside the kitchen connect to the backyard below.
The third floor includes the primary suite, with a spa bath and tons of closet space, as well as guest bedroom, a bathroom and laundry facilities. Two more bedrooms on the top floor share a bath, and a study/office with two built-in desk stations is perfect for people working at home or children learning remotely. Corkscrew stairs wind up to the roof terrace.
With both interior access and a separate exterior entrance, the garden level can be incorporated into the main part of the house or used for guests or staff. In addition to a one bedroom and one bathroom, there’s a spacious living room with fireplace and a small kitchen. Glass doors lead to the garden, an 850-square-foot space on two levels, with ample decking and a Japanese maple. A basement contains a bonus room, as well the home’s mechanicals.
There would seem plenty of room for a large family as is. But, for those with a yen for more room, this dwelling includes New York City FAR 1.0 air rights that will allow the buyer to add a full story of living space across the entire roof or, alternatively, add two floors on half of the roof. Whatever option the next owner decides upon, just don’t be surprised to hear the pawing and prancing of eight tiny reindeer come December.