The four story townhouse is situated on a charming tree lined block in the heart of the original Greenwich Village Historic District. Originally constructed as one of a series of three rowhouses in 1867 by Bartlett Smith, the brownstone facade and painted wood cornice is a typical example of the French Second Empire style common to rowhouses built in that period. While the front facade has remained relatively unchanged throughout the building’s history, the interior has seen several renovations throughout the years which were less than kind to its historic bones. Several historic details on the parlor level including base and crown mouldings, a ceiling medallion, and fireplace mantles throughout the house had managed to survive. These historic elements were very dear to the clients, yet they also recognized the value of contemporary space planning, details, and amenities. Their design directive to TCA was threefold: to preserve these historic elements; to create a dialogue between these preserved elements and a decidedly contemporary envelope; and to create a functioning layout complete with modern amenities that would serve the family into the future. In response, TCA created an architectural language to highlight the moments where old and new would interact.
Original base and crown mouldings appear to pass through glass entry vestibules at both the garden and parlor levels. Recessed metal reveals encircle the perimeter of preserved fireplace mantles demarcating old and new. A modern chandelier is juxtaposed against a restored ceiling medallion. Door jambs lined in non-directional stainless steel discreetly celebrate the use of contemporary reveals, without diminishing the texture and finesse that the owners so cherished in the preserved original mouldings. The new home demonstrates at every scale how the old and new can complement and enhance each other.