Filled with dazzling detail and a reverence for peerless period authenticity, this extraordinary townhouse—designed by prolific 19th-century architect John Prague and built in 1872—offers a veritable window into the glamorous days of 19th-century New York, when Neo-Georgian style and regal refinement were the order of the day.
New York, New York | The SamplePowers Team, Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage
Beyond a time-honored façade of limestone and brick that was created by master craftsmen, the 8,000-square-foot residence spans five levels of luxury uncommon in the 21st century. The interiors are the work of contemporary designer Ronald Bricke, whose work perfectly captures the sophistication of a bygone era. Floors impress with elegant parquet de Versailles and inlays of marble and wood. Walls display exquisitely carved moldings and paneling, opulent fabric finishes, and hand-painted motifs. Even the elevator, a thoughtful nod to modernity that accesses all levels, boasts striking wood-inlaid flooring, mirrored paneling, and a cerulean ceiling that recalls the bright blue sky.
The array of magnificent spaces begins with a foyer featuring beautiful hand-painted walls, handsome mahogany doors, and a gracefully curing staircase. Inspired by its cousins in the French countryside, the kitchen will please serious gourmands with its suite of stainless-steel appliances from Wolf, Sub-Zero, and Miele; walk-in wine cellar; and doors to a charming courtyard with a fountain. A second wine cellar—designed to appeal to the true oenophile and located on the lowest level—has a 300-bottle capacity.
The grandeur continues on the parlor floor. The living room recalls the soigné salons of yore with its parquet de Versailles floors, antique boiserie paneling, fireplace clad in French marble, stunning Venetian chandelier, and remarkable Fragonard-inspired Rococo-style wall canvases. In the formal dining room, a Louis XIV-style fireplace in striking rouge royal marble is flanked by regal arched niches, while another wall is dedicated to an eye-catching mural, and three oversized windows admit lovely light. The august library—restored to its original finery—boasts polished pine paneling, yet another marble fireplace surround, an 18th-century chandelier, and French windows. In a configuration ideal for the grandest of entertaining, the Belle Epoque–themed “Atrium Bar” offers a diverting segue between the living and dining rooms. Its bar is topped with marble, and the Lalique-style skylights—artfully depicting the north wind and the universe—create a glorious glow.
Secluded on the third level, the generous guest quarters—three luxurious suites—blend comfort with classical style. Occupying an entire level, the owner’s suite is a tranquil retreat with a wood-burning fireplace, built-in mahogany cabinetry, dormered clerestories, and windows with a colorful outlook. Its dramatic onyx bath pampers with a steam shower and a jetted tub. Busy professionals will appreciate the inclusion of a quiet, impeccably outfitted office with a half bath.
The pièce de résistance is the rooftop terrace, which brings to mind a courtyard in Cordoba with its brick walls, stately arches, limestone accents, classical fountain, and vibrant plantings. Mature trees augment the sense of privacy.
Naturally, contemporary convenience has not been overlooked. The parlor level has been wired with a custom sound system, and surround sound on the rooftop terrace helps provide the perfect soundtrack for ever-changing outdoor tableaux. The owner’s suite features automated window shades and a top-tier audiovisual system. A mirrored gym, discreetly hidden on the kitchen level, makes at-home fitness practically effortless. Storage—including a walk-in cedar closet on the lowest level—is plentiful throughout, and the entire home is outfitted with a state-of-the-art security system. Permitting is in place for the addition of one further level, allowing for the creation of an unprecedented home that simultaneously honors and transcends tradition.