Sometimes, with all the spectacularly high townhouse asks (the $90 million Woolworth mansion) and gets (the $42 million Stanford White mansion), we forget that a townhouse can be had for much, much less.
Take this charming “Flemish renaissance townhouse” at 383 West End Ave that’s asking $4.5 million. It’s located in a “wildly picturesque” block of row houses across from the Apthorp that were the subjects of a Christopher Gray back in 2004.
But even at $4.5 million, it’s a huge price jump given that the houses first sold for in 1887 for between $18,000 and $20,000. Apparently they were always considered lovely and low-key, in a city where ostentatious castles were springing up along the Park at the same time.
“In 1886, a critic in The Real Estate Record and Guide praised the Queen Anne-style row for its ”freedom from all meretricious tricks of ornament, and thorough honesty in the whole plan and style of construction,’ wrote Gray in his column.
Certainly, 383 is not as grand as many of its uptown or downtown cousins—and we doubt, based on the tight-lipped listing from Leslie Garfield broker Richard Pretsfelder—that it’s updated with all or any of the modern conveniences that other listings like to brag about: audiovisual/internet entertainment in every room, wine cellar, Miele and Sub-Zero, state-of-the-art security system, spa bathrooms, etc., etc., etc.
The listing notes that the home is still single-family and has light, a lovely garden and a “tranquil third-floor terrace.” Okay, maybe it needs some work.
It is owned, according to city records, by artist Deborah Aschheim and Robert A. Weiss, who appear to have bought the house for an undisclosed sum in 1997.
Only in New York would a townhouse seem, well, almost quaint.