jaw-dropping renovation of a Manhattan loft

so nice, I gotta post twice (today)
I simply could not resist the temptation offered by today’s Curbed post, The Future is Now at Transformed Greenwich Village Loft, to probe, to ponder, to track, and … to drool over the photos. Lover of classic Manhattan lofts I may be (I am, I really am), but this loft renovation is awesome. (Whether it is to your taste or not, there can be no argument that this is one spectacular loft.) So I ‘wasted’ some time today tracking this beauty down. (And I ‘owe’ you more August posts.)

Curbed has the links to the architect’s web site, to a design blog that has more commentary than is found on the taciturn (discrete?) architect’s site, and seven photos and the floor plan. Even if you have been there already today, go back and click back and forth between the text (particularly on Dezeen), the photos and the floor plan to get a good idea of how this loft flows. Not (usually) my cup of tea, but my of my that is one spectacular space. Talk about scrapping the "classic" loft conventions and starting over….

details, and a curious loss
I am not going to out the anonymous art collector, but I can say that in January 2007 he paid $4.6mm for a "5,800 sq ft" full-floor loft. The listing description at that time suggests that the loft needed a great deal of work:

This private full-floor loft is located in the heart of Greenwich Village, just steps from Lower Fifth Avenue. The immense 5,800 space boasts open Village views to the North and South. There are also Eastern windows, which could be enlarged. The apartment currently features a massive central gallery, large master suite and bath, a windowed eat in kitchen, and south facing balcony, which can be expanded. The space lends itself to most any configuration, however, as it has an internal width of 58 and has three exposures.

As you can tell from the photo looking downtown, this loft is high enough to have a clear south view. In this case, the height is high only for a loft building, as there are buildings nearby that are much taller (though they may lack the sight lines of this one). In fact, that view is what convinced me that I had found the right loft. I hope this link comes out all right (and without identifying the building); if you do that thing with your fingers (hands apart but thumbs together, fingers sticking straight up) you can frame this photo to almost exactly the same angle as seen in the fancy architect night-time photo.

The January 2007 seller of this "immense space" had bought it in early 2005 from a guy who had owned it since 1985 and probably did not do too much work in the intervening 20 years. Here is that 2005 listing description:

As prime as downtown gets! This immense private floor loft with epic proportions perched high above the historic village is situated steps off Fifth Avenue. Rarely is such a loft of this size available in such a desirable location. The flexibility of this enormous space can suit a variety of different needs and can make an unparalleled wide open loft or a generous family home. Windows of 3 sides offer excellent light and views. Other features include a massive central gallery, a large master bedroom with a luxurious master bath with steam shower, a windowed eat in kitchen, central air conditioning and an elaborate security system.

In those days, the ceilings were 10’6" and cross-beamed. Even then, the ceilings may have been dropped, as the old listing photos (not publicly available; sorry) show ventilation ducts in the beams and ceiling, and recessed lighting. The 8 structural columns are very much in evidence, framing that "massive central gallery". (In the ooh-la-la renovation, they almost disappear!)

eight million stories, as usual
Unless he always planned to be a(n early!) flipper, something must have happened to that 2005-buyer-turned-2007-seller soon after he bought it. Not only is there no indication that he made any significant upgrades, our data-base shows he was on the market a year after buying for $4.95mm. Too bad for him that he was asking $6.3mm to start, or that he ended up selling to The Anonymous Collector in January 2007 for $350,000 less than he paid. That had to hurt!

I wonder if he reads Curbed or, if he does, if he would recognize his loft from the pictures and description of what The Anonymous Collector and his Dutch architects did to the loft.

Did I mention that this is an absolutely breathtaking renovation??

© Sandy Mattingly 2010

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