In a section of Montclair, New Jersey called Fieldstone sits the “spy house,” given the nickname by locals after its occupants were arrested by FBI agents in June 2010. As The New York Times reports, “Richard and Cynthia Murphy were really Vladimir and Lidiya Guryev, Russian spies, part of a Northeast corridor cell that was soon sent back to Moscow by the United States government in an exchange. The Guryevs and their two talented, popular daughters, Katie and Lisa, became an inspiration for the FX show The Americans.”
The TV show, which recently ended its fourth season, stars Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, and Noah Emmerich. It follows an undercover Russian spy couple, Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, and their their two children, along with their FBI agent neighbor, and is set in the suburbs of Washington, DC, rather than New Jersey. In real life, the Times contends that “the unoccupied house remains a frustrating story of its own and an unwanted symbol of betrayal for the community.”
One local resident, Elizabeth Lapin, who lives near the spy house, told the Times, “The whole thing is pretty creepy on a psychological level. The spies resumed a normal life in Moscow, and we’re left with this reminder. The neighborhood was wounded, and it became part of a TV show. Until the house has another family, the story isn’t written.”
The four bedroom house was put on the market for $444,900 by the U.S. Marshals Service in 2013, but, presumably due to its notoriety, never sold. According to the Times, Santander Bank has now acquired the deed to the house as a lien holder. “We have been working with the approved brokers and we are ensuring that the property is being maintained in preparation for sale,” a Santander representative told the newspaper.
Here’s a clip from the season 4 finale of The Americans.