What Could be More Extravagant than a Manhattan Penthouse ? Try Two.
A pair of downtown New York City apartments offers an unprecedented entertaining space, including a terrace that says ‘come-hither’ to fall.
Words: Liz Wallace
Images: Donna Dotan
There’s a certain magic to New York City in autumn: watching filigreed leaves fall against the linear cityscape, strolling the parks latté in tow, shopping for pumpkins at the farmers’ market when the first chill hits the air. With this unparalleled space in West Chelsea’s storied London Terrace Towers, you have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to weave your own spell.
A rare arrival on the market, this apartment totals nearly 5,000 square feet of interiors and 2,200 of outdoor space, all atop one of the most desirable enclaves of downtown Manhattan — where cobblestone-edged galleries, waterside nightlife, and bucolic promenades converge. And that’s just your commute home. Once you ascend the 20 floors and exit the elevator, encounter two penthouses, one in mint condition, the other awaiting your renovation. For the first time in the Towers’ history two such spaces are available to be combined into one bewitching apartment.
“It’s very rare to find such a large amount of square footage. On one floor. Downtown,” attests Compass agent Joshua Wesoky.
Running from West 23rd to West 24th Streets between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, the location has undergone numerous iterations dating back to the mid-18th century. Originally the site of a single, family-owned home, the block became a series of Greek Revival brownstones and, in 1931, a Tuscan-style affordable housing complex, 14 contiguous buildings in total. Considered the world’s largest apartment building at the time, the exterior became instantly iconic for its alternating red- and cream-colored brick, grand archways, and elaborate terra cotta ornamentation. The interior public spaces are equally exuberant; imagine jewel-like mosaics, marble walls, and vaulted ceilings.
In the 1980s, the four corner buildings were converted to co-ops and now boast a full-time doorman, health club, and indoor pool. (Penthouse A, the fully renovated offering of this property, was previously the residence of Susan Sontag, while Chelsea Clinton, Annie Leibovitz, and Deborah Harry have also called the Towers home.)
Here, 10-foot ceilings and chevron-patterned white-oak floors give way to steel casement windows, gracious French doors, and a stately, stone-walled terrace (complete with restored gargoyles) offering south-, east- and west-facing panoramas. The glittering views here may be entertainment enough, but the apartment’s parlor also offers the ideal canvas for a burgeoning collection acquired from neighboring galleries.
Connected by an airy foyer, with glistening lacquered walls, the lounge leads to a sleek eat-in kitchen that comfortably hosts out-of-towners for mimosas and eggs Benedict alongside a wood-burning fireplace. The two guest bedrooms are equally luxurious, with direct access to the terrace, where they can peacefully enjoy a nightcap and views of the rolling Hudson River.
The second penthouse, impeccably planned by New York’s West Chin Architects (whose portfolio is awash in Manhattan tastemakers), is just as generous and ready to receive your personal design thumbprint. The combined floor plan offers a rarity in a prewar building: the potential for additional bedrooms, a second den, and a formal dining room. And, of course, there’s that wraparound patio that will become the focal point of your hosting, whether dotted with fairy-light-strung spruces or newly thawed for your first spring brunch.
“A lot of times in New York, your living space is too small to invite everyone,” Wesoky attests. “But this is really a gathering place, somewhere for family and friends to be together — and always with the New York City skyline as the backdrop.”
Continue touring this aerial dream abode at Compass.com.