Neil Patrick Harris and his husband, David Burtka, are selling their Harlem home, a refurbished 1908 brownstone that they filled with whimsical collectibles and furnishings, from a robot parrot to the bar booth on “How I Met Your Mother,” the TV sitcom where both actors had starred. There’s even a “secret” room hidden on the top floor.
“We think of it as Willy Wonka meets the Magic Castle,” Mr. Harris said jokingly in an email about the eclectic décor.
The two are sad to be leaving the brownstone, at 2036 Fifth Avenue, between 125th and 126th Streets, but their primary residence now is in East Hampton. (They bought a 13.5-acre estate there four years ago.)
“The Harlem brownstone holds some of our dearest and fondest memories,” Mr. Harris said. “Our kids have spent the majority of their lives there. It’s a legitimately special place.”
Marcus Garvey Park, for roughly $3.6 million in 2013, a year before they married, in what was then considered a lofty price for the Central Harlem neighborhood. They spent the next 14 months converting it to a single-family residence from a bed-and-breakfast, with help from the architect Jeffery Povero and the interior designer Trace Lehnhoff. In its earlier days, the building reportedly had also served as a speakeasy for Irish mill workers and a schoolhouse for girls.
The couple painstakingly restored and maintained much of the original architecture, like the carved moldings and numerous built-ins, oak floors, tin ceilings, and ornate staircase of oak, sycamore and ash, while also adding a few modern amenities and period pieces. “We both wanted to respect the history of the space, of the area, and yet make it feel contemporary and creative and accessible,” Mr. Harris said.
Life Is a Party,” a collection of recipes and tips on entertaining published in 2019.
Throughout the home are the couple’s collection of contemporary art from artists like Tom LaDuke and Kehinde Wiley, along with an assortment of taxidermy and magic and sideshow memorabilia, like the robotic parrot, and there’s a player piano. Mr. Harris — who has appeared in numerous films, TV shows and theater productions, including the comedy-drama “Doogie Howser, M.D.” earlier in his career — is a magic aficionado, just like his character in “How I Met Your Mother.” He has performed at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, Calif., and once served as its president.
The home’s main entrance is through a grand front door atop a classic stoop. A foyer leads to two parlors. The front portion contains the staircase (there’s no elevator), a music room, powder room and a walk-in closet. The parlor toward the back features the bar and a gas fireplace, one of three in the house. Nearby is a prep kitchen and doors to the terraced garden.