Single family houses in Manhattan

Even in the largest American cities, a large number of households have single family dwellings that are physically seperate from other houses and have lawns. However, on TV shows and press accounts I’ve never noticed these mentioned for families in Manhattan. Even high income families seem to just get bigger and fancier condos or brownstones. Are there any single family houses in Manhattan, and how many?

They do exist in some fashion but most of them are really townhouses rather than traditional houses with lawns. Manhattan is an island with some of the most expensive real estate on earth. There isn’t that much space to go around so any such houses would tend to be destroyed and the space used for something more valuable.

Of course, the other parts of New York City have regular single-family houses so it isn’t like the whole city is that way.

If there are any lawns, they will be in the back rather than the front an not visible at all from the street.

Not to say that none of them exist (maybe up in Riverside) but they are very, very rare. There are a lot in Queens, Staten Island, areas of the Bronx and areas of Brooklyn.

I don’t think you’ll find any single-family, detached houses on the island of Manhattan, even in Riverside, except for the occasional landmark like Gracie Mansion.

There are a few to be found on Ward’s Island, which is part of the Borough of Manhattan, along with Roosevelt Island and a few other rocks in the river.

There are plenty of houses in the other four boroughs; and much of Staten Island is quite suburban.

Governors Island had a number of single family homes. I guess technically it still does although they’re no longer occupied.

Marble Hill, the northernmost point of Manhattan, has 138 detached, single-family homes, most of them built before World War I.

Photo gallery.

Aerial view.

I live up here, in Inwood. Next to my apartment building are half a dozen single family houses. My area of Manhattan was essentially farmland until after WWI, so the remaining detached homes were once almost exclusively farmhouses. From the wiki cite:

The house next to my building went for $1.1M. Good gravy, in a few years one of those suckers is going to be all mine.

Technically not the northernmost point of Manhattan, (note the river seperating it from the rest of the island) but the northernmost point of New York County.

I believe that the “Boro of Manhattan” contains territory that is not part of Manhattan Island. For example, Roosevelt Island is (as far as I know) part of New York County and the Boro of Manhattan. In common parlance, if somebody lives on Roosevelt Island, they wouldn’t say that they live in Manhattan.

Conversely, Manhattan Island contains the U.N. headquarters which are technically international territory and arguably not part of the Boro of Manhattan or New York County.

A law school professor of mine owned this free-standing house. I was told that it is the largest free-standing house in Manhattan, although I don’t see that fact in that link.

This house was on the market late last year for $40M. Not sure whether or not it sold.

There was an article about the Schinasi Mansion in the New York Times last week that said the asking price was dropped to $20 million.

Science fiction writer Robert Silverberg once lived in a single-family house in Manhattan.

This was in the insane period in which he was writing 36 soft-core porn novels a year in addition to his regular writing.

The Borough (not Boro) of Manhattan is coterminous with New York County. The Borough contains the island of Manhattan, plus Roosevelt Island, Governors Island, Randall’s Island, Ward’s Island, Marble Hill, and some other stuff that I’ve probably forgotten. Marble Hill used to be a part of the island of Manhattan until the Harlem River was diverted slightly.

The UN site is no more “international territory” than the Portuguese consulate is. The site is subject to treaty obligations regarding financing, taxes and investigative jurisdiction, but it is most certainly part of the city and the borough.

A good realtor will never admit they don’t have the house you’re looking for. I was doing some online research on this thread and I found a real estate search engine. You could punch in locations, price ranges, and features you were looking for. As a joke, I searched for family residences in Manhattan where you could keep horses. And the search insisted there were six such places on the market.

Horseback riding in New York City.

I’ve mentioned this before, in another thread. Many years ago I worked in an office building in Manhattan, I think in the '20s. From our windows we could look down onto the roof of a shorter office building. On the roof of that building was a very suburban-type house, and the entire roof, outside the house, was landscaped with a lawn, shrubs, etc. There may even have been trees.

This site, Forgotten New York, has more pictures, etc. about Marble Hill… The rest of the site is fascinating, too…

For a while, it was a little unclear whether Marble Hill was in Bronx County or New York County. I believe that issue has been resolved.

In any event, when somebody makes a statement about Manhattan real estate, it’s usually understood that they are referring to the island of Manhattan.

The UN web site claims that it’s international territory:

But maybe it’s BS, like certain other claims made by the UN.