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Buy This Historic City Island Former Inn For A Discount: $895K

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Our new feature, Monday Mansion, examines the most interesting mega homes on the market in the far reaches of New York. From over-the-top estates to?yes?historic castles, it's a semi-regular reminder that this city has more to offer the eager buyer than simple condos, co-ops, or even townhouses. Have a listing in mind that we're missing? Tell us about it. To the outer boroughs we go!


In a departure from the two Bronx castles that landed on the market last week, this corner of the borough feels more like a seaside getaway. City Island, a.k.a. NYC's Martha's Vineyard, is home to some New England-style housing that feels worlds away from, say, the Dakota. Though it's been on the market for almost two years, the Samuel Pell House is worth another look. For one thing, the 1876-built, Second Empire-style 7BR/3.5BA is historic, earning a 21-page Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report by way of explanation. It's the best-preserved example of 13 houses left on the island and was originally the residence of one Sam Pell, an oysterman who owned a boat and came from the same Pell family that owned a lot of land in the Bronx.

Formerly occupied by the Le Refuge Inn, this handsome-if-slightly-ramshackle house is also allegedly where Arsenic and Old Lace was filmed. On the plus side, it's been PriceChopped several times, and is now asking $895,000, down from a $1.2M ask in January 2012. So start acquainting yourself with slang now: City Island locals are apparently called clamdiggers.

· Listing: 586 City Island Avenue [Elliman via StreetEasy]
· Samuel Pell House (Warning: PDF!) [Landmarks Preservation Commission Designation Report]
· The Sam Pell House On City Island [Meet City Island]
· Monday Mansion archive [Curbed]