Portuguese-born architect/artist Luis Da Cruz bought the run-down brownstone at 532 West 148th Street in 2006 for $995,000. He then embarked on a complete renovation, turning the three-family home into his own personal playground. Cruz beautifully restored original features of the 1920 house like carved wood stairways and railings, gorgeous moldings, five fireplaces, beamed ceilings, and exposed brick walls. But on that historic canvas he overlaid his signature art pieces made with repurposed objects and decorated the space in an industrial/Victorian mash up. Luis also used the townhouse, dubbed Musée Maison (aptly, Museum House), as his studio and workshop and often hosted art shows there (including trapeze shows in which he participated) where all of the work was for sale. He’s now put the 3,500-square-foot Hamilton Heights house on the market, asking $2.5 million.
The listing says the house is “the perfect mix of old and new for that downtown loft feeling in an uptown townhouse,” and we don’t disagree. New touches like plank bamboo and oak flooring, skylights, a claw-foot tub, and a stainless steel kitchen blend seamlessly with the more rustic bones of the residence.
A couple of the bedrooms feature untraditional beds–a mattress elevated on squat cork risers and another mattress with its springs exposed and lit from below–and creative room dividers, like the Circus-esque curtain concealing the bathroom and woven strings delineating an office area. According to a 2013 Daily News article, all of the artwork is “raw material culled from construction sites, street corners, junkyards and demolished homes in all five boroughs and lovingly turned into paintings, mobiles, furniture, chandeliers and candelabras.”
The new owner can choose to rent out the basement apartment, use it as a work space, or make it part of the rest of the four-story home. There’s also a backyard and available air rights.
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Photos via Stribling