Hidden New York: Back houses hidden throughout NYC

Posted at 8:29 AM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-10 03:14:46-05

NEW YORK — Before New York City high-rises and before the days Ubers, Lyfts and subways, people got around using horses and needed a place to put them. Their stables have since been converted to living structures for people.

From a two-bedroom home in Brooklyn that used to be a stable for horses to an antique store where a blacksmith used to play his trade, the city is full of hidden spaces.

Jessica Buchman, a broker at Corcoran, takes us to the corner of Middagh and Willow streets to what she says is "The oldest house in Brooklyn. This is the queen of Brooklyn Heights."

“What makes it so special is it has a carriage house in the back,” she said.

That carriage house used to be a stable for horses. Just before World War II, the owners did a major conversion.

When you walk inside, you’ll find a complete home. There’s a living room with a fireplace, a kitchen, two bedrooms and two bathrooms — it’s got a lot of charm.

“You can see the original openings, and the door where the horses entered,” Buchman said.

Next stop: Manhattan, where you can find a small hallway wedged between a florist shop and a jewelry store.

The address? 112½ West 17th St in Chelsea.

Head down the hallway lined with mirrors and find a complete little structure full of antiques.

Tatianni Gagner, who manages Pippin Vintage Jewelry out front, is used to people being confused.

“A lot of people come in and say, I’ve walked down this street hundreds of times, and I’ve never seen it before!”

She herself is always refreshing her stock from the back house and enjoys sending people back there to make their own finds.

“It feels like you’re leaving the city for a moment, like a little escape every day,” she said.

Next time you’re wandering the city, check out the spaces between buildings.

You never know what you’re going to find.