Perched on the highest elevation in Manhattan, the neighborhood feels like a slice of Colonial Williamsburg airlifted into the city. The townhouse looks at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, George Washington’s headquarters for 1776′s Battle of Harlem Heights and home to the infamous grand horizontal, Madame Jumel. At the time Duke Ellington dubbed it the “The Crown of Sugar Hill,” the historic district was also home to W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robeson, Count Basie, Lena Horne, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson, Johnny Hodges and dozens of other Jazz Masters. The self-contained 900 sq foot garden apartment/former antiquarian book shop features a 4000 volume library specializing in Harlem Heights' history - from its roots in Revolution through the jazz-age Renaissance to its very Now now - a full kitchen and bath. It's 900 sq foot Renaissance Garden has been a favorite with fashion photographers, film directors and wedding planners. The 1st floor's 12 ft ceilinged parlor, music and dining rooms feature art pertaining to local history, about 3000 volumes on 1st edition literature, modern and classical art and culinary arts, Kaiser Wilhelm's Viennese 1891 (same year as the house) baby grand, has hosted sit down dinners for 24, and comfortably stands 75. The library floor above has two baths and two collections. Besides the rarest books of the collections and a large LP collection and sound system, the front library features large bay windows with a postcard perfect view of the Morris Jumel Mansion. The second, more intimate library/study specializes in 18th & 19th c. New York history, again related to the immediate neighborhood, as are art works liberally distributed about the premises. All have been shown to great advantage by Bruce Weber in Vogue and as ballast to his film portrait: Harlem: A Poetry Lesson; Wes Anderson filmed segments of an aborted documentary on Fran Lebowitz here; Kahlil Joseph filmed part of Aloe Blacc's video, I Need A Dollar, here. We've been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, The Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BBC, Le Monde, Arte TV, and The Independent. Our listing's hourly rate applies to our regular business hours to the use of the 2 floors. The Garden apartment, when available, has a full bath and the Library floor has two full baths. The Parlor, which has none, needs be rented together with either the upper or lower floor. For preview I can be reached at (212) 928-9525.
Owner occupied. We can provide catering and clean-up crews.
Just got back from the location and I am so glad I booked and did my photo shoot at this incredible location. Meeting and working with Kurt, the owner of the property who is a private librarian was such a pleasure. Not only did I feel like I took a time travel into a jewel box full of African, Latin, Cuban and most of all the rich New York culture and history, Kurt spoke to me about the era when books and bookstores were once a big part of life in New York and how they are now almost extinct. Well, if you ever need a location that will take you back to those times, this is the place to be. The location is easily accessible by subway (just a few blocks walk) and there are many bedrooms with wall surrounded by books as well as the master study which was incredible. Rooms face north and south windows which gives you choices of available light in the room. The staircase is also beautiful and you will find many eclectic and decadent objects, paintings, photographs and record albums among wall full of books in the master study. Lastly, the host Kurt is a great guy, knowledgeable, very hospitable and is helpful in getting the shots or scenes you will need.