Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to Blair Russell’s Midtown apartment. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Florida native Blair Russell spends half of every month in Miami. And for the other two weeks, Miami comes with him to his New York City apartment. The curator-creative has decked out his Midtown abode, located in a 1910 building formerly home to an upscale children’s apparel store, with fluorescent colors, graffiti art, and international finds, all while mixing in a mid-century modern flair. Blair first bought his home on 35th and 5th one month after September 11, at a time when living next to the Empire State Building wasn’t exactly a selling point. “It used to be called the dirty 30’s when I moved here in 2002,” Blair told us.
A self-described third-generation artist, Blair made a career in Florida by helping developers outfit South Beach properties with art. Later, with housing experience under his belt, he began converting abandoned buildings into affordable housing for local artists. Now with real estate further in his rearview mirror, Blair is focusing on traveling and curating art for clients. “Everything I’ve done, I do it for one to 10 percent of the population. If more than 10 percent like it, it’s probably not going to happen with me,” he said. Ahead, see Blair’s eclectic apartment, from his orange-painted orgy centerpiece done by a Warhol protégé to a door he took from the last peep show on 42nd Street.
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Listing images by Shannon Dupree; courtesy of Compass
On the top floor of a brownstone at 111 Eighth Avenue in Park Slope and just one block away from Prospect Park, this one-bedroom co-op offers quintessential Brooklyn living for just $695,000. While a fifth-floor walk-up isn’t ideal, if you don’t mind the effort you’ll be rewarded with a cozy home filled with pre-war details, multiple built-ins, and lots of warm western light. The unit last sold in 2013 for $415,000.
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Photo by Al Siedman of VHT, courtesy of The Corcoran Group.
This beautifully renovated single-family brick townhouse at 151 Willoughby Avenue among the elegant brownstone blocks of Clinton Hill may be narrow, but within its walls are five bedrooms, seven working wood burning fireplaces, a gracious parlor, a stylish and well-appointed eat-in kitchen, a family room, a back yard, and a roof deck. Though the home, asking $2.795 million, is ready for modern living, it’s filled with unique details.
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Our Renovation Diary has been following 6sqft writer Michelle Cohen as she takes on the challenge of transforming a Brooklyn townhouse in the historic Clinton Hill neighborhood into a site-sensitive modern home. She previously shared plans for the 150-year-old building and the first big steps she and her husband, a public health lawyer and antique lighting dealer, have taken to make their dream home a reality, including two years of hunting, planning the renovation, and assembling the professionals needed to make it happen (and how the homeowners made the best of all the waiting time). With Landmarks’ signoff and permits in hand, a year-long renovation began. Below, the results, with plenty of hindsight, advice, resources and construction photos on the way.
Hear from Michelle and see the transformation
Interior listing images by Yoo Jean Han; exterior images by Francois Halard. Courtesy of Sotheby’s
Shortly after purchasing a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the New York suburb of Rye, designer Marc Jacobs has put his West Village townhouse on the market for $15,996,000, as the Wall Street Journal first reported. Jacobs is looking to downsize in Manhattan as he prepares to split his time between New York City and Rye. The three-bedroom townhouse at 68 Bethune Street is part of the Superior Ink condominium project designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects in the late 2000s. Property records show that Jacobs bought the residence for $10.495 million in 2009.
Listing images by Donna Dotan
One of the city’s last remaining carriage houses at 163 East 70th Street has hit the market seeking $18,950,000, as Mansion Global first reported. Designed by CPH Gilbert in 1902 for banker, philanthropist, and art collector Jules Bache, it was built at a grander scale than typical carriage houses to accommodate a ground floor carriage-wash, a horse ramp, and double-height stalls for a dozen horses. In 1944, John D. Rockefeller Jr.—who lived just two houses down at 740 Park Avenue—purchased the house and had his architect Grosvenor Atterbury convert it into his family’s private automobile garage and chauffeur’s quarters. The 25-foot wide property spans over 7,500 square feet across four floors with an additional 2,500 square-foot cellar and a 12-foot private garage.
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Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to Cristiana Peña’s Prospect-Lefferts Gardens apartment. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Cristiana Peña is one of those people who will make you feel like you’ve known her for years when you’ve only just met her–especially when you visit her at her equally warm Prospect-Lefferts Gardens home. After growing up in Rapid City, South Dakota (her father was in the Air Force) Cristiana moved to NYC for grad school in 2006 to study preservation. She quickly became a force in the field, working at Woodlawn Conservancy and Cemetery and lending her expertise and advocacy skills to countless groups across the city. Today, Cristiana also works as a social media strategist, a perfect fit for her creative and snappy personality and natural knack for striking up a conversation. So it comes as no surprise that her pre-war apartment is also full of personal stories. From a mobile that her dad got while deployed in Saudi Arabia to a lobster-shaped wine decanter she found while on a trip to Maine, nearly every eclectic find in Cristiana’s home comes with a childhood memory or a great tidbit about an antiquing outing.
Get to know Cristiana and take a tour of her home
Steps away from Hudson Yards, this corner loft at 448 West 37th Street just hit the market for $1,750,000. The Midtown West building is also known as the Glass Farmhouse—a former school building that was converted to condos in 1982—and this sun-drenched unit definitely lives up to that name. Ten 12-foot windows wrap around the 1,500 square-foot open layout, which promises plenty of opportunities for customization. The unit is currently configured as a studio with a sleeping alcove above the bathroom, but the listing shows alternate plans for those who may want to build out walls and transform it into a one or two bedroom.
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Listing images by Andrew Kiracofe for Compass
This Hotel des Artistes apartment has a surprising claim to fame: it was the home of Italian actor Rudolph Valentino’s mistress, while Valentino—who was known as the “Great Lover” of the 1920s for his roles in romantic dramas—lived next door. To facilitate their liaisons, a secret passage linking the two apartments was created, though it’s not clear from the listing if current residents will have access to it. There’s still plenty to love about the one-bedroom co-op at 1 West 67th Street, which features a double-height living room, original oak floors, and an upstairs bedroom with a Juliette balcony overlooking the living area. The Central Park West unit just hit the market seeking $1,425,000.
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Photos by DD Reps, courtesy of Compass
The landmarked 1894 row house at 386 Stuyvesant Avenue, among the elegant Beaux-Arts limestones of Brooklyn’s Stuyvesant Heights neighborhood, has the impressive layout and scale of a trophy brownstone and the interiors of a designer show house. Brought back to life by designer duo Dahill Bunce, the two-family home is asking $3.195 million. Rich in original detail, the 19′ x 48′ home has a few surprises that set it apart, like a convenient “summer kitchen” leading to an enviable back garden.
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