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A Historic Townhouse With A Modern Urban Edge

As an architect, I enjoy the challenge of blending historic character with modern functionality. Taking a centuries-old structure and showcasing its unique historic elements while creating a modern living experience is a core competency of Turett Collaborative Architects.

A good example of this would be this West Village townhouse. It was originally built in 1826 as a single-family home. Reinvented several times, this townhouse had been converted into a three-family residence. Additions throughout the years brought the overall space to 3,700 square feet, despite its compact footprint of 18’x 40′.

Our client engaged with us to transform this unique building back into a single-family home, but with a contemporary edge.

A lovely brick façade hidden by years of paint was restored to its former glory.

Once the front façade was successfully stripped, it revealed original bricks and stone lintels in remarkably good condition. To make the newer exterior features complement the historic elements of the building and adhere to landmark commission requirements, we gave the new rear façade dark grey bricks and kept the fourth floor addition set back.

Upon entering the new 4-story home, people are greeted with a sense of an airy and light feel marked by a casual yet chic open floor plan, skylights, large windows, open-riser stairs, and light-colored woods. The open stairwell strategically adds height into the narrow space in a visually appealing way. The clean, sophisticated look of the stairs themselves enhance the aesthetics of the surrounding area.

We designed the home for modern, urban living. The first floor is ideal for entertaining a crowd or relaxing after a long day; the open staircase separating the living room from the kitchen and dining room gives the feeling of one large space. We turned a cellar area into a recreational room with natural light streaming in from skylights near the back garden. A large master suite with many modern conveniences and luxuries fills the second floor, while two third-floor bedrooms each have en suite bathrooms and walk-in closets. The fourth floor has a private guest suite. Every inch of space was used in a way that suits today’s lifestyles, with technology and sustainability playing an integral role.

Wanting to provide an urban oasis on this tree-lined NYC street, we included two terraces on the new fourth floor, one in the front for a delightful street view, and one in the back, overlooking the peaceful ground-floor-level garden.

Our team and the interior designers shared the vision of making this NYC historical townhouse a space infused with modern amenities. The interior contains salvaged wide plank oak, natural limestone, neutral porcelains, penny tiles, and custom millwork. This all makes for a “wow” first impression and the desire to stay and enjoy.


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