Monday, January 18, 2010

This One's For All the New Yorkers Out There

(Photo from New York Daily Photo.)

If you live in New York, you know there's nothing more magical than a rooftop house. They're incredibly hard to spot. Some can only be seen from certain angles. Others can only be spotted if you're flying over the city in a helicopter. So when you happen see one, it's a very special occasion.

Last summer, I was taking some kids on tour of Greenwich Village, when I happened to spot something unexpected. A building on MacDougal Street had been torn down, revealing a temporary glimpse of an unusual rooftop structure that had been hidden from view for almost one hundred years. (See above.) I later learned that the little house was known as Alchemist's Corner--a name given to it by one of it's previous tenants, the famous actor John Barrymore. (Read more here.)

A gallery of other rooftop houses can be seen here. One of the featured buildings was the inspiration for Kiki Strike's rooftop digs!


Blogger Thumb Biter said...

HEY you took some kids on a tour of the village without me??
haha, JK.
loll sadly the magic of rooftop buildings has sort of gone for me but once I return I'll definitely look for that one if it's still there once I begin to miss them...

2:11 PM  
Blogger Kiki Strike said...

Have you grown so callous in your old age?

2:25 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

I want one! but I am rather terrified of heights. like ladders.I don't like ladders. but I like climbing trees, I can climb trees easily, just not ladders!

2:25 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

that was scary!! I enetered my post then the first 2 posts appeared, magical!!! unless Kirsten is simply on fight now posting... that's probably it. or my computer is pshyco. also a possibility.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous gymnast20 said...

oo those are so cool im jealouse :)

5:22 PM  
Anonymous TrueDragonMaster said...

Smart thing to do, I liked the gallery.
Does anyone know a secure site(no bugs or extremely inappropriate material) were I can post stories I have written.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Clare said...

Isn't today Blue Monday?

5:57 PM  
Blogger montana irregulars said...

thats gonna be my house in ten+ years (:

6:04 PM  
Anonymous The Irregular Girl said...

I'd certainly move into one! I love interesting buildings and unusual structures.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Al Fonzo said...

Happy Blue Monday and Winnie the Pooh day people!

7:05 PM  
Blogger montana irregulars said...

al fonoz: its also martin luther king jr day!!

7:45 PM  
Anonymous WillSing said...

I always thought there was something cool and secret about Greenwich

7:56 PM  
Blogger Kiki said...

thats AWESOME!

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:48 PM  
Anonymous cait said...

I read in a national geographic about these full on proper gardens planted on top of new york (and other city's) buildings It's really good idea, like giving back to the environment what we took away when building the city.
One of of these places would be great place to live, imagine the view, not to mention the bragging rights, i mean to answer some one asking were you live and being able to answer "oh just on the roof of a tall building in old ranch, in the city" I sepose it's the only way to have a proper house and a garden and still live in the middle of new york city. I'd prefer one in Sydney though, or even London...

9:55 PM  
Anonymous TricksterQueen said...

Im curious as to how the property got the name "Alchemist's Corner".... ;)

10:10 PM  
Anonymous ;) said...

i wanna live there!!

10:26 PM  
Blogger brave chickens said...

Q:Are there any ground houses in NYC or is it just apartments?

Thanks in advance :)

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Igor said...

The Poe Toaster is gone this year!,0,2922653.story What happened to him/her?

2:17 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

no, i love the Poe Toaster!!!

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Patsee said...

There's something vaguely like this in my neighborhood, on top of one of the shop-buildings in my suburb. People live there, except it's not a full-on house-on-top-of-a-building. It's like a half-house, with no yard and a poor excuse for a porch.

Igor: Oh no!!

5:28 PM  
Blogger lindseybookworm said...

This is WAY off topic but it helps people. go to to help starving people. just answer vocab/math questions and help give rice to starving people.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous ~chanel~ said...

Igor:I read the article! That's sad! I hope nothing happened to the mysterious toaster.

5:54 PM  
Blogger KENZY said...

that totally rocks! i miss living in new york..... i lived there for a year 'cause my mom was on broadway.

and what's with the toaster? i be confoozed.

btw, just wondering when the next book is coming out..... you left us at the BIGGEST CLIFF HANGER.
hahaha :)

this so random, but if anyone would check out my blog, it would rok. i put a book review up for kiki strike and how much i love it!

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ug sonnet's are painful to write. i wrote six lines of mine and now a have a really bad headache...(moan)

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Clare said...

Lindsey bookworm:I go on Freerice all the time. It is really interesting, and I also suggest others visit it!

5:10 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

Ok, sojust to clarify for those who r not aware: the poe toaster is not somthing u make toast in nor does it have anything to do w/ tellytubies.. The Poe Toaster is a mysterious amn who goes to Edgar Allen Poe's grave on hisbirthday (i think) and drinks a glass of wine and brings a rose. I miss him. perhaps he had a cold.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Rileydog said...

Poor Poe Toaster!! I wonder what happened!! I hope they arent hurt or sick. . . I wonder who they are. . . If they are still missing next year, we should continue the tradition!!

9:59 PM  
Blogger montana irregulars said...

Is anyone still up for an online irregulars group? I'm gonna try and set it up today.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Kiki Strike said...

We have like no flat top houses here, well apartments are but actual houses have regular roofs.

10:50 PM  

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