Rental pick of the week

Rent horror author Peter Straub's former townhouse for $22,000 a month

By Jennifer White Karp | March 13, 2018 - 10:00AM 

This five-floor townhouse offers 5,000 square feet in which to stretch out.

Citi Habitats

This single-family, Queen Anne-style brick townhouse in a prime section of the Upper West Side at 53 West 85th St. is about as far as you can get from a house of horrors, but it has a rather famous connection to the genre.

The five-story townhouse belonged to prolific author Peter Straub for 30 years, until 2015, when he sold it for $7 million. Straub is the prize-winning author of 17 novels, including The Talisman and Black House, written in collaboration with Stephen King.

The six-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath house is available for a whopping rent of $22,000 a month. But hey, there's no broker’s fee. It’s been renovated too, and features modern, all-white interiors, dispensing with the more traditional look of wallpapered walls and Persian rugs from the Straub era.

Towards the rear of the parlor floor is a modern kitchen with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a tree-lined garden. There’s a separate entrance on the garden floor, which has a guest bedroom/office.

There’s another entrance on the parlor floor and a large, south-facing formal dining room (see the top image) has original wooden shutters. Past the ornate staircase, an entertainment room overlooks the garden.

Floors three, four, and five have a total of six large rooms that can be used as bedrooms, libraries, offices, and/or media rooms. There are three bathrooms up here.

The garden includes a gravel seating area. A full basement with high ceilings can be used as a game room, a gym, or a storage area, and there is central air conditioning throughout the house. 

The house is conveniently located. Central Park is half a block away, the C and B trains are about two blocks away and the American Museum of Natural History is four blocks away.


Jennifer White Karp

Managing Editor

Jennifer White Karp steers Brick Underground’s editorial coverage of New York City residential real estate and writes articles on market trends and strategies for buyers, sellers, and renters. Jennifer’s 15-year career in NYC real estate journalism includes stints as a writer and editor at The Real Deal and its spinoff publication, Luxury Listings NYC. She holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an MFA in nonfiction writing from the New School.

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