Chicken feed: Parker's pad for $9.25m




A nineteenth-century townhouse in New York's Alphabet City, the garden floor of which was once Bird's home, is on the market for around £6 million

The "Charlie Parker Residence" (pictured right), a townhouse on the East Village's Avenue B, is available for sale at $9.25 million (around £6 million at current exchange rates). The 23-foot wide property, built around 1849, comes to the market as five individual apartments but could be converted into a family home if required. The garden floor apartment boasts a private garden, complete with Koi pond: the penthouse has a private deck. The building's historical status is recognised by three different organisations: the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, the State Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.

What makes the building of interest to jazz fans is, of course, its association with Charlie "Yardbird" Parker, who lived with his family in the garden-floor apartment from 1950 to 1954. A plaque marking Parker's time in residence is still displayed on the front wall of the townhouse. The nickname "Yardbird" - or just "Bird" - was said to reflect the saxophonist's love of fried chicken.

There's further interest for jazz fans. The building's owner since 1979, Judy Rhodes, was a booker in the 80s and many of her clients including Charlie Haden, Cecil Taylor and Dewey Redman rehearsed in the house. The annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is held close by each August, in Tomkins Square Park, and Avenue B between 7th and 10th streets was renamed Charlie Parker Place in 1992.

The house has its own website, The Charlie Parker Residence. It featured in this story and short video (with owner Judy Rhodes) from New York's The Local.

Sale details of the property can be found on the website of the agents, Halstead Property.

Bruce Lindsay


Relax with the luxurious print edition of Jazz Journal and enjoy more jazz news, reviews, features and debate.


post a comment