The ‘Handsome Home’ That Became the ‘House of Death’

By Megan Massana


The home where one of New York City’s most well known murders took place was designated as a landmark long before the notorious crime occurred, and before it acquired the nickname “House of Death.” Later the home of Joel Steinberg, who was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for the death of his illegally adopted daughter Lisa, 14 West 10th Street is located in Greenwich Village, which is designated as a historic district, therefore giving all buildings in the area landmark status. Greenwich Village’s historic district designation report from 1969 describes, in great detail, the cultural, architectural and historical significance of the neighborhood as a whole and of each individual building. The report, filed with New York City’s Landmark Preservation Commission, references the neighborhood’s appeal to artists several times, including stating that “one of the most notable and unusual features, to be found only in Greenwich Village, is the array of handsome studios for artists.”

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