Harlem townhouse, one of the oldest in New York City, sells for $3.6M to music lover

It’s a throwback to a time when Harlem was still a rural village and not yet legally part of the city.The home has been on the market for just a few months

An old clapboard house, widely considered to be the oldest single-family home still occupied in Harlem, has been sold for $3.6 million to a new owner who plans to turn it into a home and practice facility for struggling young musicians, the Daily News has learned.

The famed wooden property, at 17 E. 128th St., dates back to 1864 and is one of the few surviving frame houses in the neighborhood. It was landmarked by the city in 1982.

The new owner, San Francisco-based e-commerce executive Jack Stephenson, told the Daily News that he plans to lease the property to his friend, famed opera singer Lauren Flanagan. Flanagan will turn the house into a new location for Music & Mentoring House, a not-for-profit organization providing upscale affordable housing and mentoring to students studying in the arts.

“She takes music students in a gives them room and board, feeds them, makes their beds and gives them instruction in music,” Stephenson said. “There are boot camps and classes on how to get by in the business and she invites many famous friends like Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the musical ‘Wicked’ to come talk to them.”

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By Katherine Clarke | July 24, 2015