In a city that seems to get by on shoe box sized accommodation for the average populace, it seems strange that one would create so much hype over a home that is less than 10 feet wide and only 42 feet long. But it seems that the size is precisely the novelty of this tiny house. The tiniest, skinniest, and narrowest house in New York City, this place is something of a curiosity to passersby who are often given to wondering if someone actually lives in a space so small that you run the risk of punching a hole in the opposite walls if you stood in the hallway and stretched your arms.
Located at 75 1/2 Bedford St., this house, also lovingly referred to as simply “the Half” boasts of a colorful history indeed. Used in turns as a cobbler’s shop, a candy factory, and a residence of a shipper, The Half sprung into prominence when Pulitzer prize winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay took up residence here with her coffee-importer husband.
Since then several luminaries have gone on to grace the house with their presence, such as film stars Cary Grant and John Barrymore and anthropologist Margaret Mead. Now, listed for $4.3 million, the question that is intriguing everyone is “Who is going to follow in their footsteps?”
The Half, or the Millay House, has been listed several times before and each time the price has steadily increased, even as the house showed no sign of yielding so much as an extra inch of productive space. Exorbitantly priced by all standards, the Millay House has a new attraction this time – it has been renovated from top to bottom to give it a modern and stylish look.
Although it may not seem so as you look at it from the outside, this house has managed to squeeze in quite a few pleasant amenities in its narrow frame. In addition to three bedrooms and two full bathrooms, it also has a custom kitchen, a planted garden, four fireplaces (wood-burning ones at that) and a lower level retreat that’s fully furnished.
The flooring throughout the house is reclaimed rift and quarter-sawn antique oak. The kitchen features custom millwork, Crema Ella Italian marble countertops, and white oak cabinetry. The master bath has a window overlooking the planted garden and is fitted with Italian marble, mosaic tiles, and English Lefroy Brook’s fixtures.
All four fireplaces are framed with natural Travertine marble and other modern conveniences in the house include new radiators, central air-conditioning, and a washer/dryer. With oversized windows in the entire house and a garret skylight on the top floor, anybody who takes the house will never crave natural light.
With new additions that have jazzed it up on the inside, will the Millay House be able to tempt someone to part with more than $4 million simply to buy a piece of illustrious history that’s come to reside in a diminutive strip of property?