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Murray Hill Townhouse Has Weird History, Weirder Layout

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The sales history of 132 East 38th Street is something of a head-scratcher: sold in 2001 for $1.22 million, resold in 2006 for only $707,500, and listed without a sale for $3.85 million in 2008. The 2BR, 3.5BA townhouse was just relisted for $2.695 million, which makes this a good time to examine exactly what's going on here. Turns out eccentricity is not a new feature of the home's history! The Times reveals that the place was once home to Lawrence Waterbury, an uncle of Eleanor Roosevelt, who was getting dressed for dinner one night when the home's top floor caught fire. "He paused while the Fire Department extinguished the blaze, then finished with his attire and trotted off to the meal." Nor is the house itself traditionally laid out: the building is 20 feet wide, but it's much shallower than other Murray Hill townhouses, so there's only one main room per floor.

· Listing: 132 East 38th Street [Vandenberg]