Harry Houdini moves into Harlem


When Houdini hit it big in 1904, he bought a stately brownstone up in Harlem on 113th Street, where he would live until his 1926 death. The neighborhood at the time was mostly Jewish and German, and Houdini settled in by making his house into a place of respite and practice. An oversized bathtub was installed so that he could perfect his underwater escape tricks, and he kept a vast library of books on magic. While with the little balcony and unchanged façade you can still almost imagine Houdini stepping out from its doorway (on which a historic red plaque rests in honor of his residency), it is still a private home and its current owner reportedly isn`t fond of the flood of visiting fans who arrive on Halloween, the anniversary of Houdini`s death. However, you can appreciate the home from the street and imagine the escape artist within developing some new impossible escape.

Purchased, 1904