One look at this richly decorated Central Park West maisonette in The Atelier and you’ll be swept away into a scene harkening back to 18th century Vienna where couples minuet across the floor to strains of Mozart playing softly in the background.
Turns out your imagination wouldn’t bring you too far from the truth, as in recent years this home has become a beloved gathering place for artists and art lovers alike, attracting opera singers, conductors, musical soloists, cabaret entertainers, diplomats, artists, aristocrats, and movie celebrities. The annual Christmas parties given here are legendary, as are frequent dinners and musical soirées for up to 150 guests.
And what a gorgeous setting for such festivities. Adorning the walls of the two-story-height living room are beautiful tapestries, vintage posters, miniatures, paintings, and Renaissance drawings—plus a personally drawn and signed 1967 Dali sketch preserved on one wall as a “souvenir” for the prior owner, Philippe Halsman, the famous Life Magazine photographer known for his portraits of Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, and of course Dali.
For forty-two years, the current residents have lovingly accumulated and displayed a myriad of collectors’ items amidst the home’s impossibly tall north windows, four chandeliers, grand piano, walls of bookcases, wood-burning fireplace and splendid balcony. Oriental rugs beautifully accent the original 1903 wood floors.
A large-but-still-cozy formal dining room has a convenient pass-through to the modern kitchen, which features cherry cabinets, granite counters and stainless steel appliances graciously bringing you back into the 21st century.
On the upper level, the original three bedrooms are combined into two large retreats, each with a sitting area and surrounded by more closets than even Kim Kardashian might need (we counted a dozen).
It’s clear to see how the duplex’s extravagant interior and artistic sensibility were inspired by the building it calls home. The Atelier, which counts among its former residents Marcel Duchamp and other famous painters, photographers, writers and musicians, was built in 1903 as the second of six grand and distinctive Artist Studio apartment buildings constructed between 1901 and 1929 forming the Artists’ Colony Historic District. Conceived and financed by artists, this is the only landmarked artists’ colony in Manhattan.
Despite its grand size, this stunning home—dubbed by brokers as the “Duplex of Baronial Splendor”—retains a charming and inviting atmosphere ideal for both lavish entertaining and simple relaxation. However, if 2,300 square feet feels a little cramped to you, it may be possible to combine the duplex with an adjacent apartment currently for sale at $785,000.
Photos courtesy of Marion Bass, Inc.