9.20.13 … “I see it as a form of stewardship.” Really? …

NYC, narrowest townhouse,  $3.25 million, 9½ feet wide: Really?  New York’s narrowest townhouse recently sold for $3.25 million. Its 9½ feet wide.

Credit: Claudio Papapietro for The WSJ

Some people yearn for a McMansion in the suburbs, others for a glass-walled palace perched on the city skyline, but to George Gund IV, small is beautiful.

Mr. Gund, a real-estate investor and descendant of prominent Clevelanders, is the proud new owner of 75½ Bedford St., which the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission identifies as New York’s narrowest townhouse. The Greenwich Village home is 9½ feet wide.

Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

The exterior of the narrow townhouse at 75½ Bedford St.

“I have not always inhabited small spaces, but I think everyone should try it,” Mr. Gund said as he walked through his new treasure, tape measure in hand. His bed nearly fills the width of the interior of the house, which he measured at 8 feet 1 inch.

Mr. Gund paid $3.25 million in June for the Dutch-style gabled house steeped in history. It was built in 1873, filling in a courtyard between two much older houses, including one dating to 1799 that is the oldest house in Greenwich Village, according to the landmarks commission.

A plaque on Mr. Gund’s three-story, red-brick house notes poet Edna St. Vincent Millay once lived there in the 1920s. Margaret Mead, John Barrymore and William Steig, the cartoonist, also slept there, local buffs and brokers say.

City records list the apartment as 999 square feet. The purchase price works out to $3,253 per square foot, among the highest amounts paid per square foot for a townhouse in the Village.

Before he closed on the deal, Mr. Gund said, “several friends staged an intervention” to make sure he knew what he was doing. He said he told them he was buying the house out of passion, not to make a profit. He said he was drawn to the compactness of the finished space opening out onto a shared rear garden, the quiet of the street and the pedigree of figures connected to the house’s history. “I see it as a form of stewardship,” he said.

via Grand on a Small Scale – WSJ.com.

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