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177-Year-Old Chelsea Townhouse Listed For $6.75 Million

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Clement Clarke Moore may be best known for writing "The Night Before Christmas," but the author can also be credited with creating the neighborhood of Chelsea. In the early 1800s, Moore split up and sold off his grandfather's estate, which dominated the area (and gave it its name), and began developing the surrounding blocks. This house, at 354 West 20th Street, happens to be one of the buildings that he erected in 1836, and it just hit the market for $6.75 million. According to the listing, it's part of a row "of six English basement Italianate style homes all similar in style with two bays, brownstone facades, and forecourts surrounded in original cast ironwork fencing." The five-story townhouse is currently split into multiple units, but the listing includes a proposed floorplan to help prospective buyers imagine it as a single-family house.

According to StreetEasy, the house sold for $2M in 2010 to real estate investors Seth and Matthew Weissman. It seems that they wanted to renovate the house into a two-family residence, but the Department of Buildings database still shows the permits, filed in 2011, as pending. Still, some kind of work went on, because in January 2012, several complaints about the conditions of the construction site were filed with the city. So, the new asking price begs the question of what the heck happened over the last two years to warrant a $4.75 million profit? There are no interior photos on the current listing, but this old listing has a couple that show the interior to be in pretty good shape.
· Listing: 354 West 20th Street [Leslie Garfield via StreetEasy]