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NYC's Narrowest House Has a Surprisingly Big Backyard

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[Photos by Will Femia.]

New York City's narrowest house, 75 1/2 Bedford Street, came back on the market last month?after selling in early 2010 for $2.175 million?at the dramatically increased price of $4.3 million. The most recent buyer gave the nine-and-a-half-foot-wide house a thorough renovation, with reclaimed oak flooring, custom cabinetry, and built-in shelving and storage space. But there's one feature the owner didn't need to change: the home's secret garden, a backyard it shares with two neighboring townhouses. The garden also has a side entrance so 75 1/2 Bedford's residents can avoid the camera-toting tourists out front. Since we spotted two tour groups and a few other folks with cameras wandering by just during our brief visit (chronicled in the gallery above), that might be the garden's most valuable feature.
Each townhouse owner is responsible for caring for his/her own portion of the garden, but any big changes would have to be approved by all. So even though one owner has drawn up plans to partition the shared space, it seems unlikely to happen. That means whoever picks up 75 1/2 Bedford next will be able to look out across the whole garden from the tub, a setup that was one of our favorite features of the renovation. Each floor also has a balcony that lifts up to allow for a fire escape?another good idea, considering that burn marks from past fires are still visible on the old ceiling beams.

As for the 990-square-foot interior, the built-in storage and furniture?including a kitchen bench and a Murphy bed?make the place seem surprisingly livable, for a buyer who doesn't mind tourists outside, sharp corners on the stairs, or paying $4.3 million for both of the above.
· 75.5 Bedford Street [Town]
· 75 1/2 Bedford Street coverage [Curbed]

Narrowest House

75 1/2 Bedford Street, New York, New York 10014