When my nieces were small, they treasured a children's book entitled "Mr. Skinner's Skinny House." Then one day while walking down Bedford Street I stopped short -- there was Mr. Skinner's House! -- a quirky red brick house with a Dutch stepped roofline, squashed between No. 75 Bedford and the 18th Century Isaacs-Henricks House at No. 77.
When built, the first floor of the emaciated little building was used as commercial space and living quarters were above. At one point it was a cobbler's shop and, in 1880, a candy shop. Then in the 1920s 75-1/2 Bedford began a long history of famous residents, including writer Ann McGovern who wrote "Mr. Skinner's Skinny House" while living there.
|photo NYPL Collection|
A decade later the house -- only 8' 7"wide inside -- was home to anthropoligist Margaret Mead, her brother-in-law cartoonist William Steig and her sister. Within the next twenty years actors Cary Grant and John Barrymore would call it home.
|Millay in the backyard -- photo NYPL Collection|
Nearly matching in repairs what they spent on the building, new owners Christopher Dubs and Cedric Wilson brought the narrow house back to life. Because the house is in the Greenwich Village Historic District, even replacement bricks had to be of the period or indistinguishable from the originals. But the unique character of the house made the trouble worthwhile.
|A 2010 renovation resulted in sleek, ultra-modern interiors -- photo curbed new york|
After a one-year renovation, the house was relisted in 2011 for $4.3 million.
The skinny little house at 75-1/2 Bedford, the narrowest house in New York, is a favorite camera target for tourists and New Yorkers alike.