Manhattan's Thinnest House Boasts a History of Famous Residents

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Just a week or so after Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Manhattan's nonluxury real estate listings are scanter than they've been in nine years, the borough's narrowest town house has sold for $3.25 million.

Located in oh-so-charming Greenwich Village at 75 1/2 Bedford Street, the structure amounts to 990 square feet, the New York Post reports—and less than nine feet wide in its widest rooms.

But in Manhattan's star-studded real estate scene, it's the history that counts. And 75 1/2 Bedford's roster of past residents is as culturally rich as that of any other city domicile. The list includes:

  • Poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay, who made use of the house's cozy offerings to write The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver in the early 1920s.
  • Anthropologist Margaret Mead, who authored Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies and Coming of Age in Samoa.
  • Ann McGovern, a children's author whose book Mr. Skinner’s Skinny House was directly inspired by the house (and whose retelling of Stone Soup should be familiar to anyone who attended elementary school in the 1980s or '90s).

Built in 1873, the house was recently on the market for $4.3 million. At $3.25 million in New York's glamorous real estate market—where urban-dwellers are known to buy up second units in their own buildings just for the hell of it—it's practically a steal. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.