From the outside, video game mogul Richard Garriott's New York City home looks very much like a typical Manhattan townhouse. And even once inside, the stately 16-foot-wide residence betrays little of its peculiarity, except for a few choice decorations like mummy hands and a vampire hunting kit. But just like the video games Garriott made his fortune developing, his Murray Hill brownstone conceals all kinds of twists and surprises within.
When Garriott purchased the five-story home back in 2013, it was not much different from the other brownstones on the block. But as with his past homes, like the famous Brittania Manor in Austin, Texas, the adventure-loving entrepreneur decided to add a few of his own special touches.
One of the most interesting features of the home is the underground wine cellar. When examining his new property, Garriott realized that there was a door that didn’t seem to lead anywhere. Upon further inspection, he discovered a “sidewalk vault” that sits directly below the city street in front of his residence. The formerly unused tiny space was fully renovated, and now it functions as the perfect subterranean wine storage area.
The home features several secret passageways, but the cutest one has to be the hidden entrance into Garriott’s daughter’s room. Disguised as a bookcase displaying a group of tin toy automatons (Garriott believes he has the largest collection of automatons in the world), the seeming dead end swings inward to grant access to the room behind it.
For an even closer look at Richard Garriott’s truly one-of-a-kind New York home, check out Polygon’s video visit.