Welcome to one of Manhattan's most architecturally significant townhouses, located on 70th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues, considered one of the city's most beautiful and important townhouse blocks.
This 20-foot wide townhouse was designed in 1941 by William Lescaze, a Swiss-born American architect pioneering modernism and the International Style of Architecture. It was commissioned and built for Dorothy Norman, a photographer, writer and major influencer of 20th century art and politics, and longtime love of Alfred Stieglitz, arguably the most important photographer of his time.
The elevatored 4-story townhouse is over +6,700 square feet including a finished basement, and connects to a unique 1-story studio building at the rear of its 100 foot lot. There is a lovely central garden between the main house and the studio, plus a magnificent terrace on the roof of the studio overlooking the garden and townhouse. Ceilings heights are over +10 feet throughout except for the entry level, where they are +/- 9 feet, and 8 feet in the finished basement. The townhouse was designed to maximize light and a sense of peace and tranquility; it is very bright and surprisingly even gets direct sunshine on the first floor.
Upon arriving at this architectural treasure, one is greeted by a distinctive yellow door with glass transom. The townhouse was designed with an overhang which keeps the owner and visitors dry during inclement weather. One enters into a welcoming entry foyer which leads past the elevator, which services all floors including the basement, and past the staircase to a large and almost square dining room. There is a huge picture window overlooking the garden and the 1-story studio at the rear which permits sunlight to flood in. A corridor at the rear of the dining room, also with picture window, provides access to the garden and the 1-story studio at the rear. The sunny, south-facing garden is an oasis of tranquility. The studio makes a wonderful guest bedroom with full bathroom and it too features a picture window onto the garden. The large eat-in kitchen at the front of the house was designed for the serious home chef and features beautiful and fully restored original cabinetry and has a service door to the street for deliveries. The walk-through wet bar has an additional dishwasher and refrigerator. An exquisitely designed powder room completes this floor.
The sunny parlor floor of the house features a loft-like living room with fireplace and angled picture window overlooking the garden and has access to the spectacular terrace built on the roof of the 1-story studio. The living room also features an additional seating area designed for music appreciation. At the front of the house is a library with a picture window looking across the street to the double-width Mellon mansion and the other Landmark townhouses on the block.
The 3rd floor of the house features a wonderful primary bedroom, also with an angled picture window overlooking a wall of ivy, and the garden and terrace, making it feel as though one is completely detached from the city. There is a dressing room which leads to the primary bathroom featuring a deep soaking tub and separate shower, a secondary bathroom, additional washer and dryer, and kitchenette. To the front of the house is a home office or additional bedroom also overlooking the Mellon mansion across the street.
The top floor is designed with 2 guest bedrooms with a shared dressing room and bathroom plus a small terrace overlooking the garden, and 3 smaller bedrooms and a bathroom at the front of the house. At the top of the house there is a wonderful round skylight allowing light to flood the entire stairwell.
The finished basement has a large media/screening room, wine cellar, utility room and storage, a room housing the A/V and lighting panels, plus a large laundry room.
The townhouse is completely renovated with state of the art air conditioning and custom lighting yet it retains the original vision of Dorothy Norman and William Lescaze. The current owner researched the exact colors that Lescaze used when the home was built in order to fully capture the spirit of the house as it was intended. The townhouse also features the original furniture and built-ins which were designed by Lescaze for the residence, each carefully restored to "new."
Truly a unique and beautifully restored masterpiece of the International Style of Architecture, this townhouse will take your breath away. There is nothing else like it in the city