Owners Larry and Laura moved to Harlem in 2000. Larry grew up a few miles north of here, at the northern tip of Manhattan. Laura grew up in Philadelphia but is happy to be a New Yorker. We have two daughters, aged 13 and 11, who are DEFINITELY New Yorkers. Larry is a computer programmer; Laura is a teacher. Our family loves to travel -- throughout the USA, Europe, Central America, and most recently Southeast Asia -- but with the girls in school it's hard to get away. So hosting visitors from all over the world is the next best thing.
Laura Norwitz purchased this apartment in 2000
We were living in an apartment in Brooklyn, but once we had our first child wanted more space. Brooklyn has become so fashionable that we couldn't afford a house in Brooklyn and had to 'settle' for Manhattan!
This house still had traces of the glory days of its construction -- fantastic wood detailing, for example, and an elaborate dumb-waiter wheel in an upstairs closet-- though like its sister houses it had been much neglected during Harlem's decline and was pretty much falling apart. (Like many houses in the area it had been converted into a rooming house and the grand rooms chopped into tiny boarding units.)
With a grand house like this we find, sometimes, that we don't own the house -- the house owns us. Being the steward of an historical property like this is a responsibility -- we want to preserve and enhance the beauty of the architecture, even if it might be a little fancier than our personal taste.
The flowers filling the front stoop and entry area makes the house a joy to come home to. And the tranquil back yard filled with tree shade and birdsong makes you forget you are in Manhattan.