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What’s Behind This Wall?

Walking along Greenwich Street in the West Village, you will come upon this ivy-draped wall. What could be behind all that greenery?Albert the Dog with a wall

What a wide gate you have! The better for me to peer inside.

What a wide gate you have! The better for me to peer inside.

If this odd little house seems as if it was plopped down in the middle of townhouses and apartment buildings, that’s because it was. This 19th-century farmhouse used to be in the part of the Upper East Side known as Yorkville. According to this article from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, it served as a restaurant in the early 20th century. Later, it was rented out, most famously in the 1940s to Margaret Wise Brown, author of many children’s books including Goodnight, Moon and The Runaway Bunny. It is not quite clear whether she wrote Goodnight, Moon there, but judging by the photo in the linked article, she did have a charming little doggy.

Goodnight, Moon

In 1967, the house was moved to the West Village to avoid demolition when the Archdiocese of New York planned to build a nursing home on the Yorkville site.

With its low profile and odd angles, the house is a charming oddity in the neighborhood. This post by a location scout in New York pointed out that the front entrance even has a doggy door. I wish I could slip through those gates and sniff around the yard—and maybe even sneak inside for a peek.

Google Street View

Google Street View

The property was listed for sale last year as a development site priced at $20 million. But any human looking to develop the site will have to face a public review process and apply for a permit from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Perhaps instead of dealing with all that hassle, the new buyers could leave the property as is and allow me to live there as the canine caretaker of the house. After all, the door is already set up for me. And I would be more than happy to welcome visitors—as long as they bring treats.

You can see more photos and read more about this house here:

121 Charles Street, from Yorkville to the Village

Will This 200-Year-Old Farmhouse Be Torn Down for Condos?

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Wall.”

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24 thoughts on “What’s Behind This Wall?

  1. That looks like a great place for you (and your mom and dad) to live. And Mikey could come visit. Country dog to the city. Hey. That sounds like another book. 😜

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  2. Stumbled across your post while looking at what others had posted for this photo challenge. And found a sweet doggy! My sweet doggy is a St. Bernard who will turn 4 next month. She wonders what is behind walls, and doors, too!

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  3. What wonderful history, Albert! I’ll have to share your post with LOUD Mom when she gets home from work. She’s an archaeologist specializing in 19th and early 20th century urban sites, so this is right up her alley! Thank you for another entertaining and informative piece!

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  4. What an interesting story! My mom loves Goodnight Moon.She read it to her nephews when they were little tykes! Maybe if she gets it from the library she will read it to me! and as always, you are just so cute! ❤ LadyBird

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  5. 100% right up my street! I have always wanted to move a house ever since watching a 17th Century Farmhouse be transported from Suffolk to Sussex (its sort of East to West in the UK) on a lorry. I was 8 and I remain enchanted by the vision to this day. The Bean,like you, is entirely motivated by sniffing and eating. Whatever – we loved the post 🙂

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