11 1/2

With a facade of only nine and a half feet wide, 75 1/2 Bedford Street is the narrowest house in New York City. The interior space is even cozier, at its widest, 8 feet 7 inches, and at its narrowest, only 2 feet. Some sources suggest it was constructed in 1873 on what was a former carriage entranceway, while others believe the narrow home dates to earlier in the century.

In the late 19th century the building was home to a cobbler’s shop and candy factory. In 1923 the building was leased (with its surrounding neighbors) by a group of artists and actors, who established the Cherry Lane Theatre around the corner. Poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay and her husband moved into the building in 1923 and only stayed a year. During their tenure, the building, which was constructed in a typical Italianate style with a cornice at the top, was renovated. Architect Ferdinand Savignano installed a skylight and made the top floor a studio for Millay. The original cornice was removed, and a small Dutch stepped gable was added (possibly as a reflection of the Dutch heritage of Millay’s husband). According to numerous accounts, the house also was the residence (however briefly) to cartoonist William Steig, his sister-in-law anthropologist Margaret Mead, and actors John Barrymore and Cary Grant.

The building was purchased in 1952 by a Greenwich Village local (saving it from redevelopment) and sold and renovated a number of times since the mid-1990s. It was sold in 2013 for $3.25 million.

Homes with fractional addresses are quaint historical reminders of how messy development and human systems (postal routes, zoning, building, etc.) often are.

The NY post had a great article on how many of those 1/2’s came to be:

https://nypost.com/2018/11/07/the-origins-of-new-york-citys-mysterious-fractional-addresses/

but one thing it fails to mention is Harlem’s fractional address, 11 1/2 East 129th Street.

In this case, it’s not a quirk in a postal route, a small lot built inexplicably, or anything like that, it’s simply to avoid the unlucky number 13 in the way that many taller buildings go from the 12th to 14th floor, somehow.

The Historic Districts Council Weigh In

The Historic Districts Council (HDC) reviews every public proposal affecting New York City’s landmarks and historic districts and provides testimony to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) whenever it is needed. Below are their comments regarding the Church of All Saints Parish House:

47 East 129th Street – Church of All Saints (Roman Catholic), Parish House and School – Individual Landmark CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, LPC-22-01916A Italian Gothic Revival style parish house/rectory designed by Renwick, Aspinwall & Russell and built in 1886-1889, as part of an Italian Gothic Revival style ecclesiastical complex. Application is to alter the stoop and install a barrier-free access lift.  Architect: Renwick, Aspinwall & Russell  HDC finds the option with a lower concrete base and increased decorative ironwork to be the favorable design choice. It is more visually stimulating and creates a nicer relationship with the rest of the entryway. However, it should be ensured that the quality and detail of any additional ironwork matches that of the existing.  

47 East 129th Street – Church of All Saints (Roman Catholic), Parish House and School – Individual Landmark CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, LPC-22-01916A Italian Gothic Revival style parish house/rectory designed by Renwick, Aspinwall & Russell and built in 1886-1889, as part of an Italian Gothic Revival style ecclesiastical complex. Application is to alter the stoop and install a barrier-free access lift.  Architect: Renwick, Aspinwall & Russell  HDC finds the option with a lower concrete base and increased decorative ironwork to be the favorable design choice. It is more visually stimulating and creates a nicer relationship with the rest of the entryway. However, it should be ensured that the quality and detail of any additional ironwork matches that of the existing.  

August Primaries will be held for the State Senate and US House of Representatives.

How To Apply For An Absentee Ballot
Deadline MONDAY 8/8/22; BUT DON’T DELAY Request by FRIDAY 8/5/22

Absentee Ballot Application portal: https://absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov/
OR go in person to your local county board of elections Deadline 8/22/22
Note: You can request an absentee ballot even if you are NOT going away. EVERYONE is eligible to request an absentee ballot due to a temporary illness (including being unable to appear due to the risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease).

How to Submit An Absentee Ballot
Put it in the mail ensuring it receives a postmark no later than August 23rd.
Bring it to your County Board of Elections Office no later than August 23rd by 9 pm.
Bring it to an early voting poll site in your county between August 13th and August 21st.
Bring it to a poll site in your county on August 23rd by 9 pm.