In 2004, New York-based developer and builder Frank Sciame paid $6 million for the 3.4-acre waterfront Connecticut estate of the late Katharine Hepburn. In late 2015, he also dropped $290,000 at auction for the Old Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse, which is within walking distance to the estate. The 131-year-old lighthouse was built in 1886 to mark a sand bar on the west side of the Connecticut River, but it will soon see a new life as a giant children’s playroom. The Post reports that Sciame asked yacht-design architects Persak & Wurmfeld to redesign the structure as a clubhouse for his grandkids, complete with the original cast-iron windows and portholes, watch room and lantern room, and upper wrap-around deck.
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Rush hour traffic is as predictable as the sun setting at night for New Yorkers, but drivers might be shocked to find out how many hours tick away while they’re stuck behind the wheel. On average, New York City drivers spend 89 hours a year in traffic, making it the third most congested city in the world, according to a recent global traffic study by INRIX. Los Angeles earned bragging rights as the most congested city on the planet, with drivers spending an average of 104 hours a year in traffic. Coming in at number two was Moscow, with 91 hours spent in traffic annually.
Get ‘healthy’ frosting shots at Gwyneth Paltrow’s midtown cafe; L train replacement to be announced this fall, Wed, February 22, 2017
- The Driverless Future Challenge seeks proposals that actively shape the city’s response to driverless cars. [Blank Space]
- Gwyneth Paltrow is opening her second 3 Green Hearts cafe in Midtown, which will serve gluten-free kale ravioli and “healthy” frosting shots and offer a meal delivery service from partner Tracy Anderson. [Eater]
- Find out how to win an unlimited MetroCard for a full year just by sending a text. [Pix 11]
- The DOT and MTA plan to release their decision on an L train replacement this fall. Options include car-free streets and the East River Skyway. [Streetsblog]
- While congress is in recess this week, many are holding community meetings. This Town Hall Tracker helps find those in your area. [WNYC]
- Get a look inside the new Harlem home of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, located in an abandoned historic firehouse. [Untapped]
The listing brags that this Greenwich Village co-op looks like something out of a movie, and we’d have to agree. A two-year restoration of this apartment, which occupies the third floor of the 1839 Greek Revival townhouse 158 Waverly Place, left the 2,000-square-foot space looking gorgeous. Historic details are paired with both intricate wallpaper patterns and modern amenities. The apartment, too, has hosted a notable crew of residents. The townhouse was built for Lambert Suydam, the former president of Manhattan Gas & Light Co., and then the third floor was later occupied by Oscar winning actress Judy Holliday between 1948 and 1952. The latest owner, Thomas Ruff, is a German photographer who purchased it in 2006 for $1.65 million, according to public records. And now the co-op can be rented for $12,495 a month.
Industrial designer/architect (and lover of all things pink and white) Karim Rashid once told 6sqft, “Color is life and for me, color is a way of dealing with and touching our emotions, our psyche, and our spiritual being,” and this philosophy is clearly on display in his personal Hell’s Kitchen home. If you’re a fan of this quirky aesthetic, you’re in luck; Curbed tells us that Rashid’s super-sleek townhouse-condo at The Dillon recently hit the market for $4.75 million.
Image via Wiki Commons
On Tuesday the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to designate the 125-year-old Cathedral Church of St. John The Divine, the world’s largest cathedral; in addition, 115 neighboring buildings became the Morningside Heights Historic District. The designated district runs from West 109th to 119th streets between Riverside Drive and Amsterdam Avenue and includes the famously unfinished cathedral and surrounding campus. With the designation, calendared by the LPC in September, comes a 3-D online map that provides more information about the buildings in the district, most of which were constructed between 1900 and 1910, including townhouses dating back to the late 1800s as well as pre-war apartment buildings.
Icy, metallic, and unabashedly serious is how one might describe The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art building in the East Village. But deep within its mash of raw concrete, steel beams, and metal screens is an unlikely 800-square-foot treasure chest filled with tens of thousands of design and typographical ephemera spanning multiple decades.
Known as The Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, the quaint and cozy space opened in 1985 as an archive dedicated to the work of Herb Lubalin, an American graphic designer best known for his playful art direction at Avant Garde, Eros and Fact magazines, as well as his groundbreaking design work completed between 1950 and 1980 (including the original World Trade Center logo). As one would expect, the center is filled with one-of-a-kind Lubalin works that range from posters, journals, magazines, sketches, and packaging, most of which came from his studio, his employees, or via donation by Lubalin enthusiasts.
However, what many will be surprised to know is that Lubalin’s materials make up just 20 percent of the center’s entire collection. Indeed, about 80 percent of what’s tucked away comes from other influential designers. And those flat files not dedicated to Lubalin are filled with rare works from icons that include Push Pin Studios, Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser, Lou Dorfsman, and Massimo Vignelli.
For an architect who had yet to break into the NYC scene, Jeanne Gang is now moving full steam ahead. Her firm, Studio Gang, received LPC approvals back in October for their much-hyped, $340 million Museum of Natural History expansion, and now, CityRealty tells us that construction has begun on their razor-edged glass tower along the High Line. Dubbed “Solar Carve Tower” for the firm’s strategy that “uses the incident angles of the sun’s ray to form the gem-like shape,” the 12-story office building will be Gang’s first ground-up project when completed.
This three-story, two-family Clinton Hill townhouse at 578 Myrtle Avenue, zoned to allow a commercial establishment on the ground floor, has plenty of living space and lots of income potential. Asking $2.5 million, the current setup as a painter’s single-family home and workspace further underscores the freedom and fun of townhouse living. The light-filled top floor is currently used as a studio for the artist-in-residence (his favorite subjects are “ballet dancers, bullfighters, and women of the night, lounging in opulent bedrooms,” as seen above) whose enjoyment of rouge, magenta, blue and beyond can be seen throughout the house.
Historic Clinton Hill carriage house gets light from a ‘sky volume’ and a courtyard carved into its core, Tue, February 21, 2017
A thoroughly transformative re-design by New York studio O’Neill McVoy Architects turns a historic red brick townhouse on a slender 24- by 76-foot lot in need of light and air into an ultra-bright and inspiring modern residence for a young family. The Clinton Hill Courtyard House, in a landmarked section of the neighborhood, was built in 1877 as a carriage house for the mansion next door. The historic integrity of the home’s exterior was left intact, but inside, three strategic openings–including skylights, a central courtyard, and a perforated interior stair wall–were created to let in light and air everywhere for daily living.