Apartment Therapy recently dug up an old Curbed obsession, rooftop houses, but they missed this doozy near Washington Square Park. A little bit of old Greenwich Village, revealed during NYU's construction of a new building around the historic Provincetown Playhouse on MacDougal Street, is now on display despite its hidden spot above West 4th Street. The quaint little aerie was the work of actor John Barrymore, a longtime Villager who created this secluded "Alchemist's Corner" in the air nearly one hundred years ago.
Earlier this year, when the old buildings came down around the corner, Barrymore's lair was revealed: A rustic cabin with an open porch in the trees atop an 1839 rowhouse at 132 West 4th Street. Its tale was well told at New York Daily Photo, including hammy John's desire for tons of topsoil up top that eventually crashed through the roof. The top-floor apartment, since cleaned up but still quirky as ever, was recently rented but can still be seen via an online listing. Pictures show that the blue bottle-glass windows and skylight remain, and the winding stair still reaches to the roof where Barrymore's cozy "cabana" awaits. Once the construction down below comes to an end it should be a very peaceful place to get away from it all.
· Alchemist’s Corner [New York Daily Photo]
· Listing: 132 West 4th Street [Corcoran]
· Provincetown Playhouse coverage [Curbed]