Saturday, May 4, 2019

Houdini's 278 is coming back to life

It was one year ago today that news broke of the sale of Houdini's New York home ("278"). At the time, the new owners assured the Houdini community that they planned to preserve Houdini history. Today I'm excited to share the first image of the restoration in progress.

This photo was taken from the parlor level entryway and shows a now restored doorway into what was Houdini's library. The doorway had been walled off by the previous owner. But now we see exactly what it was like to step inside 278 and find Houdini himself in his favorite space.

QUESTION: What is your idea of comfort?
HOUDINI: Seated in a large arm chair in library and hearing Mrs. Houdini call up: "Young man your lunch is ready."

Thanks to the new owners of 278 for allowing me to share this pic.



  1. "Hi, Harry, are you busy?!" Thanks for this - love your photo trickery, too!

  2. Cool how that photo lines right up! So great to know his house is being cared for and history is being preserved.


  3. A wonderfully eerie photo! Thank you for that!

  4. I just realized this makes even more sense. If a door was open at the hall in Houdini's day, his office in the library would have been all the closer to the staircase that leads down to the dining room kitty-corner from the kitchen door. Bess's voice wouldn't have to carry through the Garden Level living room and up the stairs to the Parlor level and back to the library! I haven't been in the house to feel the space but it seems like an easier way to call up.

    1. This post definitely solved the mystery of how Bess called HH down to the kitchen level to eat. The stairs turn left and go down at the library door. Bess prolly approached the foot of the stairs on her level and called up. Her voice bounced of the stairway corners to the library door above like a megaphone.