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'Harlem's Oldest Townhouse' May Have Found a Buyer

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Image via Harlem Bespoke.

The little clapboard townhouse at 17 East 128th Street, believed to be the oldest in the neighborhood by Harlem Bespoke, has entered contract after just three months of looking for a buyer. The townhouse appeared on the market for $3.695 million in March, marking its most ambitious ask since it was built on the outskirts of town in 1864. The house between Madison and Fifth avenues gained landmark status in 1982. According to its designation report,

The 17 East 128th Street House is one of a few surviving frame houses in Harlem which date from the period in the city's history when Harlem was still a rural village and not legally part of the City of New York. Constructed circa 1864, this house was once one of many similarly styled framed houses that were built in Harlem at roughly the same time, particularly between 110th Street and 130th Street.


The sale has yet to close, meaning the exact amount that it traded for is still out. Hopefully the new owner will carry on the townhouse's century-and-a-half tradition of serving as a single-family dwelling. Daytonian in Manhattan has the full history of ownership, which includes the townhouse's sale in the early 1930s for all of $1. Why so low? The transaction was between an aging woman named Margaret Lane and the boy she nannied, then grown. Whoever moves into this house, one thing's certain: they'll be in the company of a lot of history.
· 17 East 128th Street in Contract [HB]
· Listing: 17 East 128th Street [Rutenberg Realty via StreetEasy]
· The Remarkable 1864 Survivor at No. 17 East 128th Street [DiM]