ARCHITECT & HISTORY: Designed by New York City’s first native-born architect, John McComb, Jr., 27 Harrison Street is positioned on a landmarked row of Federal-style brick and frame houses in Tribeca individually landmarked in 1969. Originally located less than 100 feet from the Hudson River, McComb built 27 in 1796 as his private residence. Favoring building sites located near the quays so that he could watch the ships come in to port, 27 Harrison was originally located on Washington Street facing west.
McComb is well-known for having designed some of New York’s earliest and most notable landmarks, such as City Hall, Gracie Mansion, The James Watson House (now a rectory on State Street), and Quarters A in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, part of Admiral’s Row.
THE RESIDENCE: Entering just above grade, a gracious front hall includes a closet and powder room. The 25’ x 40’ footprint of the townhouse is made generously available by the open layout to this garden level. With a large living room and dining room in front, soaring ceilings, and a brick-surround fireplace, this level is flooded with sunlight in front and from the rear garden. A large chef’s kitchen with informal dining space makes this a comfortable floor which can accommodate large-scale entertaining or Sunday morning breakfasts.
Bathed in southern light, there are two six-on-six windows in the kitchen facing the rear garden, and access to the full-height basement below. A unique collective of common gardens, there are white birch trees and large stone pavers in the rear garden, creating a very private but bright setting, uncommon to New York.
The second floor featuring two bedrooms, each with an en-suite bath at the north and south ends of the home. A large landing includes several closets for linens or storage. The top floor comprises the master suite, graciously laid out with vaulted ceilings, dormer windows, a large fireplace, and an open floor layout allowing light to effortlessly pass end-to-end. A large stall shower is positioned opposite a copper bathtub which has been carefully installed beneath the skylight providing moonlight views from the bathtub.
The full-height basement includes a large guest bedroom with en-suite full bath, the residence mechanicals, laundry room, and a media or recreation room. There are ceiling-level windows front and back which bring in abundant sunlight.
To quote one of New York City’s earliest Landmarks’ designations regarding 27 Harrison Street: “…makes a clear statement of refined proportion and harmony’ it preserves a characteristic late eighteenth century domestic scale and profile unique to the City of New York.”