I wish I had $1,495,000.00!

The house that my grandfather built in 1926, and where my father and my aunts grew up, is for sale for $1,495,000.00. It’s in Jamaica Estates in Queens. When my father was born it was surrounded by mostly farmland. But in the 1930’s the city (Robert Moses) installed Grand Central Parkway within spitting distance on the eastern edge. Here’s a picture taken I know not when, I’m guessing in the late 1920’s, early 1930’s.


I just found a shot of it now. The current owners bought it for $338,500.00 in 1997. My grandfather built it for $20,000.00 in 1926, and I don’t know what he sold it for it the 70’s, but I know he said that he’d want at least $60,000 for it in 1969. So in exactly 80 years it went from $20,000 to just under 1.5 million. Man, I’d take most of those hedges out if I bought it. The house is far enough off the street that privacy is not an issue.


Here’s a shot inside, from the 1930’s, with the incredibly high ceilings (those are my grandparents).


I wanted to get a close up of the tree, their trees were always giant and magical.


And here is a close-up of what was under the tree, the best part. The only presents I can make out are the fire department cart thing, a Felix the Cat looking thing and a pillow with Santa Claus on it.


I honestly think that if I had a spare $1,495,000.00 I’d buy it. I’m getting all verklempt just looking at these shots. The closeness of Grand Central might sound like a bad thing, but when I was a child, the woosh, woosh, woosh, of cars speeding by at night, was comforting, like a lullaby, and to this day highway sounds make me feel at peace.

If there’s a rich person out there with a spare 1.5 mil, please buy me this house. Thank you in advance.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

2 thoughts on “I wish I had $1,495,000.00!

  1. I will never,ever, forget that whoosh, and how it made me feel. I can hear it like it was yesterday. Thank you with all my heart for sharing this stuff Stacy.
    P.S. Do you really want the house?

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