Can You Tell What’s Unusual About This NYC Listing?

published May 11, 2018
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Finding reasonably-priced real estate in New York City is no simple task. So if you happen to be breezing through the apartment listings looking for your next home, you may come across this one-bedroom unit in an adorable East Village co-op building. But before you start packing boxes and updating your magazine subscriptions, you may want to look a bit closer.

Listed at $2,500, the apartment is extremely charming. It features high ceilings, hardwood floors, exposed brick and crown and picture molding. The bedroom is sunny and spacious, and there’s a long living area with room for a full-sized couch and television. The eat-in kitchen has stainless steel appliances, exposed brick and… a bathtub. Yep, you heard us correctly. The bathtub and sink are in the kitchen.

Here’s how we can tell: Take a glance at the small bathroom mirror over the sink. Do you notice the reflection of the various picture frames? Look back at the photo of the kitchen—it’s a direct reflection. The sink and original cast iron claw foot tub is beautiful… but yes, it’s located in the kitchen.

But before you start to imagine chopping vegetables while sitting on the toilet, don’t fret: The toilet is not part of the washroom/kitchen. According to the listing agent, the “toilet room” is in the back of the apartment.

“I like to call it the throne room,” Sharon Royce of Citi Habitats, the listing’s realtor, told Apartment Therapy via email, adding that it even has its own window. A room with a view!

Tub in the kitchen (Image credit: Popular Science, 1912, via Wikimedia)

Built in 1898, the building is tucked on a pretty tree-lined street between Avenue B and Avenue C. And its 1898 origin may be the best indicator as to why the apartment has a bathtub in its kitchen: In the days of tenement living, it wasn’t considered unusual to have a bathtub located within a living area. In fact, it may have been considered quite useful, considering many people heated water to bathe in on the kitchen stove. Keep in mind, these were the days when it was common for multiple families to crowd into one room, and bathrooms were either located in the hallway, or worse, outside. Some of these units managed to live on throughout the 20th century, even popping up in TV and film, sometimes with boards placed over them to function as a counter top. (Consider Michael Ginsberg’s home in ‘Mad Men’, or Patty’s apartment in ‘Good Girls Revolt.’)

There is a beautiful outdoor patio and common area, however, where you can regale your new neighbors with tales of what it’s like to bathe in the kitchen.

Listing: 633 East 11th Street, #6, via CitiHabitats