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Did the Government Use This Bronx House for Espionage?

Here's something interesting: a little white house at 5437 Fieldston Road in the Bronx was rumored to be used by the government to spy on the Russian Federation. The house is directly beside the diplomatic residence, separated only by a spike-tipped fence, and it had clear views of huge satellite dishes located on a lower floor inside the Federation, which opened in 1974. A corporation named Van Cortland Realty, with an address in Maryland near Washington, D.C., bought the house shortly after the Federation opened.

The Times recently talked to neighbors, all who were confident in the knowledge that the house was used by FBI agents and the government. No one seemed to live in the house?snow would remain untouched for weeks, the blinds were always closed, and a doorman across the street has never seen anyone enter or leave during his 20 years in the neighborhood. The most activity anyone ever saw were the repair men who seemed to always be tending to the phone lines.

Sadly, this tale of espionage is coming to an end. The property recently sold to Talner Congregation Beth David for $400,000, and they plan to tear down the house and build a synagogue. But even with the sale, the true story of the house remains a mystery. The real estate agent said the inside looked "as if it had never been lived in" and the congregation "basically doesn't even know who they bought the house from."
· A House of Intrigue and, the Neighbors Say, Espionage [NYT]
· 5437 Fieldstone Road [StreetEasy]
Image via StreetEasy