Guardian Angels founder’s childhood home up for sale in Canarsie

Guardian Angels founder’s childhood home up for sale in Canarsie
Photo by Steve Solomonson

This Canarsie house is truly angelic.

The home of Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa grew up in is up for sale. The talk show host who started the legendary civilian anti-crime patrol said he hopes a new family will be able to find refuge there from the struggles of every day life the same way his Italian grandparents, his parents, and later he and his siblings did.

“It’s a blue collar, working class house,” said Sliwa. “I hope a new family has the same experience we had.”

The house on E. 89th Street in Canarsie is a two-story, light gray, classic American home with a large yard. The house is currently listed at $899,000, and includes four bedrooms and three bathrooms. It has served as the official Guardian Angels headquarters since 1979. The sale is part of a mortgage plan Sliwa’s parents started before their death. Sliwa goes back about once a week, although he currently lives in Manhattan. He said he still enjoys the relative tranquility of Canarsie, however.

“In Canarsie, you get enough space to walk around and breathe. You don’t feel like you’re in an urban jungle of concrete and steel,” said Sliwa. “I’m a borough boy.”

Sliwa’s fondest memory is of using the front yard as an unofficial junkyard where he collected paper and glass trash before hauling it off to recyclers.

Sliwa, who lived in the house in the 1960s and early 1970s, credits his crime-fighting beginnings to dealing with the mafia in Canarsie as a kid. Crime still affects Canarsie, albeit in a different way, according to him.

“Back then when I grew up, it was more organized crime,” he said. “Nowadays, it’s more street criminals.”

Canarsie has a heavy Caribbean immigrant population, which Sliwa compares to the large Italian immigrant presence when he grew up. He hopes a family of new immigrants will buy the home and find success in the country.

“I want someone to follow in the footsteps of my grandparents,” he said.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.