Purchased in 1996 for $950,000 by French music producer, newspaper publisher, entrepreneur and passionate lifelong art collector Jean Lignel, this West Village carriage house received a renovation by architect Jeffrey Flanigan that transformed the 1834 landmark into both a family home and a made-to-order art gallery with 6,700 interior square feet and 1,825 square feet of outdoor space. Lignel’s collection includes many works by Keith Haring, Warhol, and celebrated contemporary artist (and mother of filmmaker Beth B) Ida Applebroog among many others. In addition to being able to showcase large art pieces, modern conveniences–like an elevator and a garage–abound.
Lignel first listed this “West Village Arthouse” (as the current listing calls it) in 2007 for a whopping $20 million, possibly fresh from its extensive–and no doubt expensive–renovation. Since then, the home has been on and off the market, with broker swaps and price chops happening each time. In this latest go-round, the three-story historic home with an artistic pedigree is listed at $14.5 million.
An art collector since the age of 16, Lignel ran a French newspaper conglomerate that included the influential Lyon-based Le Progrès from 1974 to 1986. He was later a partner in starting Veterinary Centers of America, a chain of animal hospitals, as well as a music producer and publisher. According to a 2004 article in Art Review magazine, “Old Masters fill his London residence, he has dedicated his house in Cannes to Art Brut,” but the 19th century converted carriage house that the collector called home while his young children were in school, “reflects the life he’s created in America since he began working here in the late 1980s. Works by Andy Warhol, Ida Applebroog and Keith Haring dominate the main rooms and bedrooms. There are several Donald Baechler paintings and a David Salle.” In addition there are dozens of museum-worthy first-edition books lining the shelves.
The home itself was originally three buildings including two carriage houses that were merged under one roof (long before the current owner purchased it). This is, in part, the reason its shape is so unusual. Beyond a 15-foot wide carriage house façade lies a 30-foot wide residence that’s an example of innovative design on an impressive scale.
Dramatic double-height ceilings “have allowed all floors of the house to be linked physically and visually by unconventional passageways and geometrically positioned staircases,” giving the house an impactful, contemporary loft feel. A center glass atrium and skylights direct natural indirect light to all the home’s walls, perfect for large-scale artwork.
The ground floor boasts an entrance gallery and a media room separated from living and dining areas by the patio/atrium.
A modern eat-in kitchen rounds out the first level.
On the second floor are three bedrooms that could become four, two bathrooms and a study/play area.
The home’s top floor boasts a sophisticated master suite with a balcony, a dressing area, a media room and a home office (which could become an extra bedroom).
This office can be privately accessed from the ground floor by the home’s elevator, which sounds like one of the better commutes we’ve heard about lately.
The home’s lower level is comprised of an exercise room, a steam room and a laundry area. In addition to being creatively inspired and perfectly located in the prime West Village, this custom-designed modern masterpiece of a home offers a “completely private and secure environment” the latter of which is definitely worth thinking about if you’re going to be installing Warhols in your bedroom.
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Images courtesy of Sothebys.
Neighborhoods : Greenwich Village