Glorious. 39 Charlton Street is a 25 foot wide house with exceptional grandeur and inherent elegance and beauty. Built in 1827, both the interior and exterior are recognized by many historians as one of the finest examples of Greek Revival/Federal houses in the city. Extraordinary original detail throughout gives the house a quiet dignity and grace. It is extremely rare to find this level of meticulously rendered decorative elements.
Each floor has beautiful and generously scaled rooms. The dramatic parlor floor includes a gracious wide entry hall, stunning double parlors with floor to ceiling windows, plaster moldings, and fireplaces with handsome original marble mantles. A lovely kitchen overlooks a marvelous large garden filled with roses and peonies. The gardens between Charlton and King Streets form an extremely rare and treasured oasis - a rich, verdant enclave filled with flowering trees and song birds.
Above and below there are 7 large bedrooms, 5 of which have wood burning fireplaces each with original mantles, 2 smaller additional bedrooms and 4.5 baths. While the house has a certificate of occupancy for 3 units, it has been used as a single family home for many years and has been in the same family for over 30 years. It has been lovingly and intelligently maintained. All owners of the house have been preservationists and gracious hosts and benefactors. William Sloan Coffin who owned the house in 1917 and recognized its historic beauty went on to become the president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. George Balanchine, Lincoln Kirsten, Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, John Cage, Virgil Thompson, Robert Rauschenberg, Sir Isaac Stern, and Jackie Onassis have all been entertained in the glorious parlors of this rare and celebrated home.
The location is superb: Charlton Street, which is a wonderful part of Greenwich Village that is steeped in history, offers the longest unbroken stretch of Federal/Greek Revival houses in New York. "There is exceptional harmony of old houses built within a few years of each other and such continuity of period and excellent state of preservation is not known to exist anywhere else in the city. To walk this street is as delightful and unexpected a step into the past as to walk up Cheyne Row in London. The streetscape gains a unity and dignity from the warm red-brick fronts and the four story tall human scale of these houses." Landmarks Preservation Commission
The history of the neighborhood is remarkable. The mansion and surrounding estate was called Richmond Hill and served as George Washington's headquarters in the spring of 1776. In 1789 it became the residence of Vice President John Adams and his wife Abigail. In 1794 Aaron Burr occupied Richmond Hill where he was known for his lavish entertaining. It was here that he laid far reaching political plans. Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton all visited and dined there.
In November 1801 he tried to sell the property but before the month was out he wrote to his daughter Theodosia: "The sale of Richmond Hill is off, blown up at the moment of the counting of the money, partly by whim and partly by accident." Burr was forced to sell the property to John Jacob Astor after the fateful duel killing Alexander Hamilton in 1804.
In 1820 the mansion on Richmond Hill was moved in tact 50 feet southward and lowered down the embankment to a new location. Astor then divided Charlton into lots and sold them. The building of the individual houses began simultaneously which accounts for the continuity of scale throughout the block. In 1966 Charlton Street was Landmarked as part of the South Village known as the Charlton King Vandam Historic District
Listing Agent: Leslie Mason
Courtesy of: Douglas Elliman 137 Waverly Place
Office Phone: 212.206.2800
Updated: 25th September, 2017 5:31 AM.
39 Charlton St New York, NY