Monday, October 8, 2012

but wooden I love to

Wooden houses. They aren’t building them in Manhattan anymore and few have survived the fires and rotting ravages of time.

This one did, built in 1864, 148 years ago.

Harlem was farmland in those days, named after “Haarlem”, a town back home in Holland. But in 1837 the railroad extended to 129th street and development exploded.

17 East 128th Street is built in the “Second Empire Style”. 
It’s just a walk across the bridge.

This house has been sold only a handful of times, first for about $1,000, then $2200, later $5900, and so on until $12,000 in 1927 and finally $1.795 million in 2011, just last year.

The balustrade porch rail is original and so is a very steep slate roof called a “mansard”, named after seventeenth-century French architect Francois Mansart. 

It’s well slathered in green paint and remarkably intact because so few different families have occupied it since the Civil War. 

Most 148 year old objects don’t look nearly this good.

You and I sure won’t.

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