Perched on the highest elevation in Manhattan, the neighborhood feels like a slice of Colonial Williamsburg airlifted into the city. The townhouse looks at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, George Washington’s headquarters for 1776′s Battle of Harlem Heights and home to the infamous grand horizontal, Madame Jumel. At the time Duke Ellington dubbed it the “The Crown of Sugar Hill,” the immediate neighborhood was also home to W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robeson, Count Basie, Lena Horne, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson, Johnny Hodges and dozens of Jazz Masters.
The self-contained 900 sq foot garden apartment/former antiquarian book shop features a 4000 volume library specializing in Harlem Heights' history - from its roots in Revolution through the jazz-age Renaissance to its very Now now. The Parlor floor's 12 ft ceiling, features literature, modern and classical art, and culinary arts libraries, Kaiser Wilhelm's Viennese 1891 (same year as the house) baby grand, has hosted sit down dinners for 24, and comfortably stands 75. The library floor above has two baths and two collections. Besides the rarest books of the collections and a large LP collection and sound system, the front library features large bay windows with a postcard perfect view of the Morris Jumel Mansion. The second, more intimate library/study specializes in New York history, again related to the immediate neighborhood, as are art works liberally distributed about the premises.
All have been shown to great advantage by Bruce Weber in Vogue and as ballast to his film portrait: Harlem: A Poetry Lesson. Wes Anderson filmed segments of an aborted documentary on Fran Lebowitz here. Kahlil Joseph's video for Aloe Blacc's 'I Need A Dollar' was filmed here and around the neighborhood. We've been featured in The New York Times, The Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Le Monde, Arte TV, Vogue, Elle, Glamour, The Independent, & served as location to several independent film makers, PBS and the BBC.
We are available for photo shoots, filming, and literary events. We are not a party space.