Legendary townhouse now on the market lives amid Harlem’s historic music venues and mansions in district known for “the sweet life”

New York, NY, Oct. 04, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Among the gilded mansions and Instagrammable rowhouses, the rich history of Harlem’s Sugar Hill district is alive and well in this 1894 neo-Renaissance style townhome at 850 Saint Nicholas Avenue. 

Previously owned by The New York Times’ first Black managing editor, Gerald Boyd, and Essence Magazine’s executive editor, Robin Stone, this four-story landmarked home has a secret history in its basement.

While the parlor features a majestic staircase, pocket doors, and spacious entertaining and dining rooms with butler pantry, there is also an underground relic of a bygone era: Descending through a BILCO door in the parlor floor leads to a former speakeasy. It was here in this dimly lit space that illicit libations were served to the neighborhood, once a center of the Harlem Renaissance and home to major Black figures like Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and Langston Hughes. Remnants of vintageEbony magazine covers used as makeshift wallpaper can still be seen. 

This stately home just hit the market for $3.45 million, a rare chance to purchase a piece of such iconic Harlem history. 

“It was an extraordinary experience to stage this architectural gem in Sugar Hill. It’s rare there’s an opportunity to marry contemporary design with such an interesting past,” said celebrity interior designer Cheryl Eisen, President of Interior Marketing Group, the world’s largest home design and property marketing firm. Renowned internationally for its staging artistry, IMG was selected to elevate the interiors of this townhome, using bespoke furnishings and original artworks from IMG’s team of artists. 

At 4,980 square feet, the home features four full bedrooms, four baths, and original historic details, such as crown moldings, wood burning fireplaces, wainscotting, wood carvings, and 12-foot ceilings. A separate guest apartment comes with its own private street entrance.
Renovated in 2017, this neo-Renaissance gem is now filled with modern luxury, including a lush, self-irrigating rooftop terrace with gorgeous panoramic city views, an elevator servicing all four floors, and an indoor-outdoor entertainment space.

The townhome’s grand primary suite features original architecture, including a stunning pass-through dressing room and a lovely den opposite the bedroom. A bay window and sitting area make for a quiet and serene resting space. A massive walk-in closet and a bath featuring Moroccan mosaic tiles, a cast iron soaking tub, and a spa-like steam shower offers a space for relaxation and rejuvenation. 

“This is a very important piece of New York City history and the staging design catapults to a level of the neo-Renaissance style mansions priced at much higher points. At $690 per square foot, there is nothing like it on the market,” said Suzanne Sunshine, the Brown Harris Stevens real estate broker representing this residence. “What Interior Marketing Group did to stage this townhome was incredibly transformative… The staging brought it to a level where it can compete with much higher priced homes.” 

Anchoring Sugar Hill's Historic District, this is one of Harlem’s most Instagrammable homes at 850 Saint Nicholas Avenue, and its speakeasy establishes it as a local legend. 

For more information about this property, please contact Suzanne Sunshine at Brown Harris Stevens at

To learn more about Interior Marketing Group, please visit



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