The Pumpkin House of Washington Heights, one of the most unusual residences in Manhattan, has gone on the market for $3.9 million.
The 17-foot-wide brick house cantilevers over a cliff near the highest point in Manhattan, facing west toward the Hudson River.
The light of the setting sun combined with the glow from the windows makes it look like a jack-o’-lantern from passing tour boats or people strolling by on a path by the river.
The current owner of the pumpkin house, William Spink, a decorator, bought the house at 16 Chittenden Ave in 2000 for $1.1 million. Now after a decade of owning a house with a view, and after replacing the roof and pointing the facade, he said he was ready to move back into an apartment building where someone else handles the maintenance.
Mr. Spink said he believed that Pumpkin House name may have been created years ago by guides on Circle Line tours around Manhattan. “When I bought the house I thought it meant native Americans grew pumpkins on the hillside,” he said.
The house has had four owners since it was built in the 1920s on a steel foundation sunk into a steep cliff at West 186th Street, just north of what is now the George Washington Bridge. It was commissioned by Cleveland Walcutt, an engineer, on land purchased from the estate of James Gordon Bennett, the publisher of the New York Herald.