The Rooptop House on 3rd Ave

After posting about the Beach House on an East Village apartment roof, one of our readers, Karen, commented that it reminded her of the rooftop house on 13th and 3rd, above the Kiehl’s store. Today was the first time I had a chance to check it out, and sure enough, there’s a clapboard house – with brick chimney! – perched on top of a 4-story apartment building.

13th St House - 01

A quick glance from the street would probably make you think this is nothing more than a roof addition. However, it seems to be a residence in itself.

13th St House - 02

Note the trees/shrubs on what I think might be a patio.

13th St House - 03

13th St House - 04

The thing that confuses me: why aren’t there more windows?

13th St House - 05


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  1. Good catch, that is kind of confusing – with such a great space you’d think it’d have a great view!

  2. Can’t tell much of anything from Google Maps, but the complex of penthouses seems to be aimed away from any sense of the city.

  3. What a coincidence! I noticed this rooftop house while running an errand today. Curious to learn more about this charming house my google search directed me to your engaging blog.

  4. Comment from my father, in South Africa, to whom I forwarded this post:

    Ooooooooh!!!!!!!! I want to live in this house!!!
    Won’t Scout find out how much the rent is?


  5. Could be wrong-but, friend in the apartment building next door (above Jennifer Convertibles) said it was rumored a Coen brother lived there. Adds a little romance to the place non?

  6. This is awesome- I work on Irving place I really want to go look for this tomorrow on my break! I’m obsessed with old buildings 🙂

  7. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am that I was able to point you to something new. It’s a pleasure to be able to return the favor, given all that you’ve introduced me to on your blog.

    This may actually be one of the proudest days of my life!

  8. I also heard this was built by the Coen brothers… I’d love to see it up close.

  9. I was told that the whole building was built by the founder of Kiehl’s and he built the house on top as a residence, to my knowledge the building has always been owned by the Kiehl’s family

  10. Just some background. The house on the top floor is the second floor to an entire apartment. The top floor of the brick portion of the building is the main part of the apartment. The roof (house) area is an entertainment area, with the back being an indoor sauna. Yeah, nice!

    Word is the ‘apartment-house’ was bought five or six years ago by a guy who made his money on 1-900 numbers. It was bought around 2004 for around $2 million.

    /my dream house….

  11. In the same street, number 226 E 13th street. The building is entirely closed. As I was looking at it last week-end, a man in the street told me that it used to be a crack house and as I searched on the internet, I learned that some scenes of Taxi driver were spotted here… if it could be of interest for u…

  12. According to time out it’s just a dressed up boiler room/janitor’s closet