One of the best things about New York City is you think you completely know it and then you find yourself on a block you’ve never walked down before and ta-da! An undiscovered gem reveals itself to you. Such is the case at Pomander Walk, an unusual gated-off block sandwiched between West End Avenue and Broadway.
Just a stone’s throw from Symphony Space and the lovely walk-up window McDonald’s on Broadway, Pomander Walk is for all intents and purposes in the heart of the Upper West Side, but it feels more like a quiet London suburb circa 1920. Consisting of two rows of Tudor-style buildings that face each other across a narrow planted courtyard, Pomander Walk offers a break from the Upper West Side’s canons of prewar apartment buildings and offers an unexpected breath of levity. The two-story homes alternate between cheery white and blue-trimmed stucco and brick and half-timber facades, giving the block a whimsical candy-strip look.
So how did this little slice of Anglophilia carve a place for itself amid all the surrounding brownstones and co-op buildings? Well, it didn’t happen organically. Thomas Healy, a 1920s nightclub honcho, bought the block hoping to build a hotel on the site. Healy took the name for Pomander Walk for a rom-com by the same name written by the playwright Louis Parker. As it so happens, the play was set on a small street in Georgian London whose old-fashioned Tudor-style homes served as the inspiration for Healy’s row houses.
Despite his successes as a nightclub baron, he couldn’t get the financing together for the hotel as quickly as he needed so in the meantime, he built the 27 row houses that stand today as a means of providing temporary cash. The plan was to tear them down when the cash came in to make way for the hotel. Healy, however, died before the cash came in so his dreams of a hotel were never realized. His legacy lives on nonetheless in the row houses that remain at Pomander Walk. The block received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1982 after falling into some disarray during the 1970s.
Today, Pomander Walk holds a cherished spot in little known local lore and air of mystique since it’s not open to the public and accessible only to key-holding residents. As such, owning a home on Pomander Walk is a point of pride for many residents so it’s rare to see sales come on the market. Just today, however, a quintessential, mint-condition row house at 8 Pomander Walk came on the market.
Listed for $2.299M, this three-bedroom home is right smack-dab in the center of the block and is just as adorable as you would image. Window boxes, rose bushes, trellises and perky shutters – the two-floor home is the picture of cozy, English charm. Inside, it’s just as nice with a recently renovated kitchen, marble countertops and stainless steel appliances. Upstairs there are three bedrooms tucked together, making the home a lovely place to raise a family. Historically significant, centrally-located and the opposite of a cookie cutter, this row house checks all the boxes of a true New York City real estate gem.