I recently spotted the above picture on my Facebook feed. The 1930’s photo of an 1864 house was posted by What Was There with the caption: “The Oldest Residential House in Harlem“. It piqued my curiosity so I did some Google sleuthing and found that the house is not only still standing – it is for sale!
Here’s what it looks like today:
It is remarkable because by all accounts, this house seems to have retained all of its original details. Even as the city of Harlem grew and expanded around it, and the country home was boxed in by apartment buildings on either side, it survived with minimal tarnish from time.
Below are the listing photos:
The house was just put on the market in early March of this year.
17 East 128th Street is priced at $3,695,000 and it’s no small city pad – measuring in at 3,784 square feet.
This is the listing description:
At last, the opportunity to buy one of the last & most interesting houses from the civil era of 1864 is finally here. The beautiful frame French second empire style home at 17 E 128th Street is for sale. This home was designated a landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission of New York in 1982. This one family gem has 3 floors and a full basement and amazingly in good condition. Inside this charming one family home, you will find 6 marble fireplace, 6 bedrooms and four baths. A huge country kitchen that leads out to a splendid garden. Very private and serene. The owner has taken very good care of this home.
This exquisite home is reportedly one of the very few residential structures in Harlem from the Civil War era that is still used as a private residence.
We also get a rare peek at the backside of the house and the courtyard behind:
It’s a fabulous piece of New York history – I sincerely hope it finds a new owner who will maintain the property as well as it has been.
When I was researching this house, I also found a blog that gives a very detailed history of the previous owners of the home as well as an inventory of the architectural features. Check out the Daytonian In Manhattan blog – a fantastic read!