Narrowest House, New York City
Built in 1822, the year there was an outbreak of yellow fever in Lower Manhattan, 17 Grove Street is the best and most complete example of The Village’s wood-framed houses, which were banned in 1866 for fire safety reasons. The window sash maker William Hyde built the house originally with two stories; the third story was added in 1870.
The single story building, #100 Bedford Street, that is behind 17 Grove Street, was Mr. Hyde’s workshop; it is a single residence today, with its own entrance.
Rising above 17 Grove Street is 102 Bedford. Known as Twin Peaks because of its unusual roofline, it was built in 1835. Clifford Reed Daily, an amateur architect, gave the building its controversial look during a renovation that began in April 1925 and cost $14,000. Mr. Daily himself, on 21.May.1926, christened the building with medieval-style roof “Twin Peaks.” Reports in the New York Herald Tribune stated that each of Twin Peaks’s 10 apartments had been rented for $68.50 per month; and that the exterior was painted black, green, orange and blue. Today’s color scheme is much more subdued.
My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -
It gives a lovely light.
— from “A Few Figs from Thistles”, 1920 by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
New York City’s narrowest house at 75 1/2 Bedford Street has 990-square-foot behind its red brick façade. The living space measures 8.5 feet wide and 42 feet long. This skinny little townhouse, located in iconic Greenwich Village, was built in 1873 on land that was once an alley.
Pulitzer-Prize winning poetess Edna St. Vincent Millay and her husband Eugen Jan Boissevain lived here between 1923 and 1924. “The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver,” for which she won the Pulitzer Prize. According to Elizabeth Barnett, literary executor of the Millay Society, the red plaque (see photo #2) at the front of the house is inaccurate. Barnett asserts that Millay did not write “The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver” at 75 1/2 Bedford Street. She worked on the poem while in Europe and completed it before returning to America. Notice the stepped gable (see photo #4), recalling the city’s Dutch beginnings; it was added when Milly and Boissevain had the house renovated.
To get to 75 1/2 Bedford St. take the Red Line #1 subway train to Christopher St. Surface and walk in the same direction as traffic to Bedford St. Turn right; the house will be on your left, close to the next corner.
75 1/2 Bedford St, W. of 7th Ave., in Greenwich Village, is the narrowest house in the City, measuring 9.5 feet wide, three floors high. It was built in 1873. The house next door, No. 77, is said to be the oldest house in the Village, built in 1800.
If you're in Greenwich Village you can have a look at the city's narrowest house : it's on 75 1/2 Bedford St and was built in 1893. It's only 9 1/2 ft / 2,9 m wide.
Poets and actors have lived here; the building has been recently renovated and marked by a plaque.
Cute and worth a look when you're going for a walk in "The Village".
About 0.2 miles / 300 m south of Sheridan Sq, at Bedford St just West of Varick St
Some nearby Subway stops :
to the north : Christopher St / Sheridan Sq
to the northeast : W 4th St / Washington Sq
to the South : Houston St / Varick St
Tip : also see my other "off the beaten path" entry : St. Luke's Place. This is just around the corner.