Single-Family Townhouse in Majestic Gramercy Park Neighborhood
Lush Garden and Civil War Era Charm
On a quiet, tree-lined block steps from idyllic Stuyvesant Square Park and Union Square lies 219 East 17th Street. The stately fifteen-footer was built before after the Civil War, and offers historical charm, exceptional light, and a delightful garden that is part of a contiguous row of lush outdoor spaces. The Stuyvesant Square Historic District is a charming residential area focused upon the park, which gives the District its name. Its residences are mostly row houses like the Anglo-Italiante house at 219 East 17th Street. The area is also graced by a number of religious and institutional buildings in a variety of architectural styles including Gothic Revival and Greek Revival. In 1855, bricklayer Benjamin Wise acquired two lots on East 17th Street, and built the townhouses at 217 and 219. Thoughtfully renovated in 2001 by second-generation owners, the townhouse was given a modern upgrade with a new façade, roof, copper plumbing, electrical systems, and central air conditioning. A roof resurfacing in 2018 has also boosted energy efficiency. It is now configured as a four bedroom, three bath, single-family townhouse with a separate apartment suite in the English basement. The interior is gracious and adaptable to suit any lifestyle. Each room boasts original details from marble mantelpieces and ornate plaster moldings to the wide staircase with coffin corners. The parlour floor maintains a sense of formality, but functions much like a modern great room with an open layout and gathering areas on both sides of the kitchen. The upper floors can host two additional common spaces, such as a sitting room or library, or be solely dedicated to private bedrooms, which would bring the total to six within the main home. Real New Yorkers dream of finding a townhouse with rich history and 21st-Century fixtures; privacy and a vibrant neighborhood. With an unbeatable location and the elite Friends Seminary, East Village eateries, Trader Joe’s, year-round Greenmarket, and subway access nearby, 219 East 17th is that townhouse.
A separate entrance underneath the front stoop provides access to an English basement. The front of this floor contains several storage areas including closets, a vault, and mechanical room. The rear of the basement is occupied by a nicely proportioned junior one-bedroom that looks out onto the townhouse garden. The apartment can generate income, but is also ideal for a mother-in-law suite or recent college graduate. In addition to the main living space, there is a cozy kitchen nook, fully renovated bathroom, and a separate sleep alcove, which accommodates a double bed with room to spare.
A vestibule with arched transom windows and pocket closets creates a lovely entrance to the parlour floor of the townhouse. The front of the floor is a formal sitting room that includes a marble hearth and mantlepiece as well as original plaster embellishments on the ceiling. The center is occupied by a galley-style kitchen with an island and plenty of cabinet space. A dining room sits at the rear of the parlour floor. It also has a lovely mantlepiece, built-in shelving, and a wall of glass doors that allow in sensational light from the rear garden. When the doors are open, there is a natural flow out to the rear terrace and garden below, which has a blue stone surface, privacy fence, mature magnolia and maple trees, and the best bird-watching in Manhattan as neighbors have spotted 40 species of feathered friends!
Upstairs on the third floor, double doors open to both front and rear rooms. Both rooms boast fourteen-foot ceilings and can be used for entertaining or more private, informal spaces such as a study or bedroom. The front room has wonderfully tall windows with shutters and an original mantlepiece. The third floor rear also has an original fireplace mantle. There is a full bathroom and separate laundry room on the floor.
For more than half a century the fourth floor has been the entry point into a duplex apartment. However, it maintains the original architectural flow. A sun-drenched living room is situated at the front of the floor. It has a lovely fireplace with pillared mantle and built-in-bookcases on the opposite wall. The rear room is currently being used for casual dining. It also has a fireplace as well as a door that opens to a private terrace. Connecting these two large spaces is a wide, galley-style kitchen and original dressing room. The kitchen has numerous cabinets, new countertops, and modern appliances, while the dressing room showcases historical details and woodwork.
The fourth floor of the townhouse hosts two bedrooms and a central bathroom. The front bedroom is flooded with light from the south-facing windows. It has two closets. The rear bedroom features a marble mantlepiece, two windows with garden views, and marvelous plaster crown moldings.
The fifth floor contains two more generous bedrooms. Notably, the rear-facing room is enchanting as its windows are framed with verdant ivy and make the room feel as if it is part of the secret garden below. A full bathroom, linen and cedar closets, and skylight complete the floor.
Beneath the English basement is the townhouse cellar. It can serve as additional storage space or would make a perfect wine cellar.