New York City’s classic pre-war co-ops are in an elegant class by themselves, with beamed high ceilings, big casement windows, entry halls and galleries, maid’s rooms and gracious spaces in general. The more interesting among them tend to be those in which the customized luxury of their longtime residents has been preserved. Such is case with this spacious duplex at 322 East 57th Street in Sutton Place (where you’ll find a lot of preserved customized luxury). The listing describes the three-bedroom deco-era co-op, listed for $5.195 million, as “exquisite, dramatic and unique.” Designed in 1933 by renowned architect Joseph Urban, the 3,300 square-foot apartment was for 40 years the home of the late Senator Jacob Javits and his wife, Marian, who died earlier this year. And while it’s likely that there are many updates to be made, there are also many surprising details that have returned with today’s trends.
The home is being sold by the influential senator’s children. The by-then empty nester couple moved into the co-op in 1970s after selling the larger Park Avenue apartment where they’d raised three children (h/t Wall Street Journal).
After entering the large foyer you find yourself in a vast and most unusual living room with ceilings of over 17 feet, a wood burning fireplace with the original white stone mantle and double-height casement windows.
In the southeast corner of this elegant great room is a metal-framed glass “solarium” cube with open south city views. Though this feature may call attention to the pricey property’s lack of any outdoor space, it’s worth noting that many of the home’s details, including the pale putty-pink walls, deco-era art, steel-framed glass interior rooms and vintage flooring are popping up in cutting-edge design books.
Up a curving staircase with a vintage-modern lucite handrail (not pictured, unfortunately) you’ll find the elegant formal dining room.
Loft-like, the space overlooks the living room from behind an Art Deco balustrade. Also on this floor is a large windowed eat-in kitchen that has been outfitted with a substantial pantry area–both important and rare in city kitchens–with a second sink and a full bath. As an alternative to the internal stairs, the service elevator conveniently comes to this floor for an easier dinner-party entrance.
Back downstairs are the bedrooms, separated from the public rooms by a wide hallway. The large master suite has open southern views, many, many huge closets and a windowed en-suite bath with its own deep closet. One of the bedrooms is adjacent the master and would make a great den, office or sitting room for an opulent bedroom suite. The third bedroom is a sizable south- and east- facing corner aerie.
The Javits’ daughter, Joy, held her wedding here at the apartment, hosting 150 guests. The couple also frequently entertained a lively roster of guests that included Henry Kissinger and Truman Capote. Manhattan’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is named for Sen. Javits, who died at the age of 81 in 1986. He served in the House of Representatives from 1947 to 1954, left to become the New York state Attorney General, then was elected to the Senate in 1956 and remained until 1981.
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Images courtesy of Stribling.