47 Seaman Avenue: The “Other” Houdini Home

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47 Seaman Avenue, on right, May 28, 1925 , NYC Municipal Archives.
47 Seaman Avenue, on right, May 28, 1925 , NYC Municipal Archives.

The two-story, two-family brick home on 47 Seaman Avenue across from Beak Street was constructed in 1925.

Real estate ad, 47 Seaman Avenue, New York Sun, September 25, 1926.
Real estate ad, 47 Seaman Avenue, New York Sun, September 25, 1926.

Described in an early real estate advertisement as “a lovely brick and marble Queen Ann home,” the house is one of a handful of single and two-family homes that add historic character to the Inwood neighborhood in northern Manhattan.

47 Seaman Avenue in 2016.
47 Seaman Avenue in 2016.

Though rumors persist that the house was once the former residence of Harry Houdini, the legend seems unlikely. His widow, Bess Houdini, however, did indeed live in the neighborhood. Bess moved to 67 Payson Avenue, just blocks away, after Harry’s 1926 death.

47 Seaman Avenue, center of photograph, looking north from Dyckman Street, New York Sun, September 25, 1926.
47 Seaman Avenue, center of photograph, looking north from Dyckman Street, New York Sun, September 25, 1926.
47 Seaman Avenue highlighted, looking south from Academy Street to Dyckman Street, May 28, 1925, NYC Municipal Archives.
47 Seaman Avenue highlighted, looking south from Academy Street to Dyckman Street, May 28, 1925, NYC Municipal Archives.
47 Seaman Avenue in 2016.
47 Seaman Avenue in 2016.
Whimsical garden in front yard of 47 Seaman Avenue.
Whimsical garden in front yard of 47 Seaman Avenue.

While not a Houdini home, the fact that the house stands today, nearly a century after its construction, seems an almost magical feat.

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