The James A. And Ruth M. Bailey Mansion, “The House The Circus Built”, Harlem, NY, 1886

The James A. and Ruth M. Bailey Mansion is a large freestanding limestone mansion located at 10 St. Nicholas Place at West 150th Street in the Sugar Hill area of Harlem, New York.Called “the house the circus built,” was built from 1886 to 1888, Bailey built the 12,000-foot Romanesque Revival the limestone castle “with turrets, porches, balconies and no fewer than 66 windows” and was designed by architect Samuel Burrage Reed in the Romanesque Revival style for circus impresario James Anthony Bailey of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. When it was constructed there were few other buildings in the area, and as a result, sitting as it does on an escarpment, the Bailey Mansion had a clear view to the east of the Long Island Sound.

Among the house’s numerous design features are numerous stained glass windows, designed by a cousin of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The interior is richly paneled in hand-carved timber. The exterior features Flemish-style gables and a corner tower.

In 1951, the house was purchased by Marguerite Blake, some say its haunted since she ran a funeral home from it until her retirement. In late 2008, she brought the house to market, seeking to sell it for $10 million. As of May 2009, it was being listed for $6.5 million. On August 31, 2009 it was reported that the house sold for $1.4 million, which is only around $170 per square foot.

The Bailey House was designated a New York City Landmark in 1974, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Photo credit: wikipedia

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"The Clark Legacy Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark and their work," this post is made in partnership with Harlem Cultural Archives, get more at Harlem History.

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