Thursday, June 17, 2010
I saw 2 amazing houses in New York yesterday, both on a broker tours. The first was a private brownstone facing Central Park West, priced at a cool $32 million. On the outside, it looked like a fairly standard 1880s rowhouse. Inside, it looked like the Museum of Modern Art. There was a 5-story open tower in the middle of the thing, with a dome at the top, sleek white walls with "important" art - (read that: 8' x 8' carvasses painted completely black) - a lap pool in the basement, a full-floor master bedroom suite with a 25' wide beige marble bathroom, a mahogany and stainless kitchen full of appliances for namedroppers. There was not a book or a framed family photo anywhere in sight...except in one little room in the front. It was kind of chilly looking, but certainly a jawdropper. The other was in the West Village and from the outside it looked like a careful historical restoration of a 4-story, high stoop, ca.1850 brick rowhouse. The first 2 floors were along those lines - high ceilings, mouldings, wide plank floors, antique marble fireplace. The top 2 floors had a completely unexpected high-tech look - sheer walls of unusual substances (I don't even know what the closet doors in one bedroom were made of), bathrooms with square sink bowls sitting on dark wood bases, that kind of thing. The roof was a sort of 2-level Hanging Garden of Babylon, complete with 8-person hot tub, outdoor kitchen, full grown trees, flowers everywhere in planters and boxes, and a total of 2500 planted exterior square feet. Asking $16.9 million. If I could sell either of these houses, even the cheaper one, it would make me well for this year.