Former Harlem Home Of Harry Houdini Under Offer


The townhouse where famed illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini lived for the 22 years leading up to his death is now under offer for $3.6 million.

The 19th-century Harlem home that Houdini shared with his wife Bess came to market last June for the first time in 30 years, seeking $4.6 million. This price mark-up was a substantial amount more than the $24,000—or $639,584, adjusted for inflation—the Houdinis paid for the house in 1904.

According to the Houdini fansite Wild About Houdini, the illusionist kitted the place out with all manner of tricks and illusions during his residency.  Inside, Houdini had a gigantic sunken bathtub and a large mirror installed to practice his underwater effects. The bathroom tiles were engraved with an “H,” while Bess’s bathroom sported a “B.”

Houdini also had the entire house wired for sound -- including an early ‘wireless’ radio in the carpets -- so he could amaze visitors with mind reading effects. Even the front door was an illusion. It looked normal, but when you turned the knob, it opened from the hinge side.

These fantastical home improvements are no longer in place. The home is currently set up as a three-family dwelling with an owners’ duplex on the first two floors and two floor-through rental apartments above.

On the garden level there is a large eat-in kitchen which opens onto a leafy landscaped patio. Also on the garden level are a spacious living room with tin ceilings and a bedroom with a full bath.

On the parlor floor is a master bedroom with an en-suite bath and a large dressing area along with tall townhouse windows and gorgeous herringbone floors.

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