Manhattan and its neighboring boroughs have plenty of old-school townhomes. Each borough has its panache for architectural expression. Brooklyn Heights Historic District is home to well-preserved brownstone townhomes that embody classic New York architecture, while the West Village is home to beautiful wooden clapboard townhomes. The Upper East Side is home to monumental townhomes made of limestone, with warm brick townhomes scattered throughout. If you are looking for a Manhattan townhome, you should know what options are available before making an offer.
The brownstone name is derived from the materials used to build these magnificent townhomes. Even the smallest amount of sandstone used to construct an NYC townhome is enough to call it a brownstone. Now that the supply of sandstone mills has faded, the price of Brownstones has spiked.
On East 70th Street sits a 115-year-old Brownstone that architect Charles Graham designed in the late 1800s, and since then, it has been owned by the same family for nearly a century. With six bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms, this stunning townhome has been carefully maintained over the years, preserving the home's architectural details. At five stories high, this restored townhome holds exquisite original detail throughout its high ceilings, including its banisters and crown moldings. For $13 million, you can be curled by one of the eight fireplaces scattered throughout this townhouse on a cold winter’s day.
Clapboard townhomes are some of the rarest townhomes in the market of NYC for good reason. After the Great Fire of 1835, wood-framed houses were considered fire hazards and, in the 1850s, were banned from being built in Manhattan. Naturally, this has sharply increased the scarcity of remaining clapboard townhomes and the price tag. Out of all New York City’s townhomes, clapboard townhomes require the most maintenance to protect the wood from damage.
If the maintenance does not scare you, look no further than the West Village to find the most historic clapboard townhouse. Built around 1820 for William Hyde and used as a shop and a home, this townhouse has several unique features. Located on this property is the main townhouse and a separate two-story house behind it.
With two wood-burning fireplaces, wood beam ceilings, and a brick-floor kitchen, the rustic details contribute to the home’s charm. Attention to original detail has been key in this historic home, and one visit reveals all. Not to mention this townhome was used during the prohibition and has a tunnel that once connected the home to neighboring 86 Bedford St. For $12 million, this museum-quality townhome could be yours.
If you are looking for a monumental and eye-catching townhome made of more durable materials, then a limestone townhome may be for you. Most of New York City’s landmarks are made of Indiana limestone, and who doesn’t want to live in a landmark-quality home?
On the Upper West Side sits a 130-year-old Limestone townhouse once owned by a colleague of Theodore Roosevelt, Lucius Nathan Littauer, also referred to as the ‘L.N. Littauer Mansion.’ Designed in the 1890s, the home has since been completely renovated. Historic elements such as the plaster ceiling, original oak flooring, and oak wainscoting remain. At just over $12 million, you can relax in the claw-foot tub or spend time in the over 500 square-foot garden area.
These brick townhomes are most commonly associated with the Federal Era and give off a warm and cozy feeling. In recent years, exposed brick interiors have increased in popularity. It is important to note that brick is a great building material that helps insulate and provide fire resistance.
At 4 Grove Street sits a well-preserved brick townhome built in 1900. This townhome features exposed brick, and while this three-story building has been renovated over the years, the home still embodies its classic architectural design. Wood-burning fireplaces, an underground wine cellar, and arched entryways are prominent attractions inside this brick townhome. One tour of this townhome, and you will forget the hustle and bustle outside your front door as you get lost in this historical time capsule. If you are in the market for a historic home in West Village, this one was recently listed at $7.5 million.
Out of all the different building materials of New York City townhomes, these vinyl-sided townhomes have some of the best build material advantages, like resistance to cracking, rotting, and denting. Vinyl is known as a more modern building material than others and has been readily used since its introduction around 1950.
However, if you are in the market for vinyl-sided townhouses, you should look at Williamsburg in Brooklyn since Manhattan was largely built up when vinyl came around. These vinyl-sided houses might be the bargain on this list, but their longevity is alluring with equally enticing mid-20th-century details.
If you are looking for the oldest brick townhome or the oldest residence in Manhattan, look no further than 44 Stuyvesant Street. Built in 1785 by Nicholas William Stuyvesant for his wife, this townhome has been a residential building for over 200 years.
This three-story, five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom townhouse has all original features in its 3,300-square-foot layout. This townhouse has a beautiful garden patio not included in the 3,300-square-footage. If you want to own the oldest residential home in New York, this beautiful brick townhouse has been listed for just under seven million.
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