Home buyers will often see an old roof as a reason to walk away from a sale. Many people know that while a new metal roof can last 50 years or longer with minimal maintenance, other types of roofs can fall into disrepair much more quickly. But in the case of one special penthouse apartment, what’s on top is actually a huge selling point: it has a rooftop Nantucket-style cottage as a bonus feature.
On its own, the four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath penthouse at 72 East 1st Street is a real gem — in spite of the fact that it’s a fourth-floor walkup. But the cottage is the cherry on top of the sundae, with its cedar-shake exterior, kitchenette, full bathroom, and wraparound terrace.
When Blogger Nick Carr found it while location scouting, he exclaimed, “Did a tornado rip through Cape Cod and drop an ocean-side house onto an East Village apartment building?”
For a long time, the owner of the cottage remained unknown. But earlier this summer, the Post revealed that Gale Barrett Shrady and her late husband, Henry Merwin Shrady III — a former sculptor, artist, and neighborhood improvement activist — designed the structure. Shrady renovated the entire place but rented out the cottage to other tenants while his family took over the fourth and fifth floors. His widow is now selling the duplex and cottage as one unit.
This home is certainly unconventional. The official listing refers to it as being truly the most unique property in the East Village.” But although 42% of recent buyers look online at properties for sale, this penthouse/cottage combination doesn’t hold back on sticker shock. It’s available for a sensible $3.5 million. Even though the square footage alone is equivalent to several homes in one by NYC standards, that cost is a tough one to swallow.
Two wood burning fireplaces, tons of natural light, and all the space might be nice, but for most New Yorkers, it’s simply not a reality. While more affordable housing options are being developed in the Bronx and in Brooklyn, those who want to live in the heart of historic Manhattan — even if they pick a property that doesn’t feel like it’s in the Big Apple — will have to bear the financial burden.
Most New Yorkers would consider themselves lucky just to have rooftop access. And even if you can’t have that, at least you can get your fix by looking at unaffordable homes online.