Trailblazing opera singer finds buyer for “fading beauty” townhouse in Hudson Square

TRD New York /
Aug.August 29, 2013 04:03 PM

A Hudson Square townhouse that belonged to one of the nation’s first African American opera singers has sold for $4.2 million, according to records filed with the city today.

Leontyne Price’s home, at 9 Vandam Street between Sixth Avenue and Varick Street, is a “fading beauty,” according to the listing, with Laura Denise Milkowski and Michael Beam of Brown Harris Stevens.

Price, now in her 80s, rose to fame in the 1960s, when her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House caused a 40-minute standing ovation. Price broke many barriers – among them, owning a home as an African-American woman in the Civil Rights era. (She bought the house in 1966, before the advent of electronic property records, so her purchase price was not available.)

Price won 13 Grammys and the National Medal of the Arts, and performed at both Lyndon B. Johnson’s inauguration and his funeral, according to published reports.

She listed the 24-foot-wide, four-story, 2,800-square-foot home for $5 million late last year. The townhouse dates to 1829 and was landmarked in 1966, according to city records.

The initial listing admits the pad will need some renovation, and the buyers, a pair of faceless LLCs in city records, may find the Landmarks Preservation Commission has lots to say about what they can and can’t do with the stately abode. But the three-bedroom, 3.5-bath pad also boasts four fireplaces and one ultra-rare Manhattan amenity: a backyard all your own.

Milkowksi and Beam did not immediately return a call for comment.


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