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Fame Slept Here

The Facts: A 10,000-square-foot 24-room limestone mansion with nine bedrooms.
Asking Price: $3.5 million (down from $6.5 million).
Taxes: $25,281 a year.
Agent: Lori Huler Glick and Cindy Kurtin, Stribling & Associates.

Step right up! The Harlem mansion custom-built by architect S. B. Reed for James Bailey, co-founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, is on the market. Amazingly, the 1888 house has had only four owners, including the current seller, who has lived there for nearly six decades. The exterior, with its castlelike flourishes, is impressive enough, but the real treasures are indoors: stained-glass windows made by a Tiffany cousin; heavy, detailed doors and lintels; a covered porch from which Bailey watched horses prance and gallop. That said, it is an extremely ambitious restoration project, to put it mildly. Chunks of plaster are missing from the walls, floorboards are popping up, some signage lingers from its years as a funeral home, and the backyard is so tangled that brokers have been calling the house a “modern-day Grey Gardens.” That may be why it’s had trouble finding a buyer—and why the price has been cut nearly in half.


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