Photo by Sean Brady, courtesy of the Gramercy Park Block Association
It’s a Christmas Eve miracle. The gates to Gramercy Park will open to all for one hour on Dec. 24, the only time of year the public can enjoy the exclusive greenspace. The Gramercy Park Block Association on Friday confirmed to 6sqft that the private park between East 20th and East 21st Street will once again open from 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. for caroling this Christmas Eve. All other times of the year, the park is only accessible to residents with one of the 400 keys, provided to those who live in the 39 buildings surrounding the square.
What you need to know
There are many blocks in New York that leave us drooling, but the original “block beautiful” is 19th Street between Irving Place and Third Avenue, one block away from Gramercy Park. Most of the brick and brownstone rowhouses on the block were built in the 1850s but were considered dour by the turn of the century. After moving to New York in 1906, British architect Frederick Sterner bought the home at 139 East 19th Street and renovated it with what would become his playful signature touch: a coat of tinted stucco, shutters, decorative ironwork, and a projecting tile roof. Many—if not most—of the other homes on the block received Sterner makeovers, giving the street a distinctive charm. Now you can own the house right across the street from Sterner’s own, at 140 East 19th Street, for $15,250,000.
Take the tour
Photo via Flickr cc
From 6-7pm this Christmas Eve, the Gramercy Park Block Association will open the park’s iron gates to the public for its annual holiday caroling hour with the local Parish of Calvary-St. George’s. And though this may not seem like much time, it’s probably the only chance New Yorkers will get; all other times, Gramercy Park is only accessible to those who live in the 39 building surrounding the square and are lucky enough to have one of the 400 keys.
Photo via Bosc d’Anjou/Flickr
For one precious hour, mere mortals will have the chance to walk through Gramercys Park‘s iron gates sans key. Curbed reports that on Christmas Eve the Gramercy Park Block Association will host its annual holiday caroling hour with the local Parish of Calvary-St. George’s, and from 6:00 to 7:00pm all will be welcome.
Find out more
Just because an apartment is small doesn’t mean it can’t have lots of personality. That’s the case for this alcove studio at The Gramercy House, a co-op at 235 East 22nd Street in Gramercy Park. The building itself makes quite a statement; it was designed by architects George and Edward Blum in 1931 as an impressive Art Deco apartment building. Historic interior details have managed to carry over into this apartment, with moldings, hardwood floors and even a corner wood-burning fireplace.
Take a look
It’s true, this unseasonably warm weather isn’t anything to complain about. But it’s hard to look at a fireplace like the one pictured above and not start pining for a winter chill. The grand marble fireplace (which is also wood-burning…perfect for wintertime!) belongs to a one-bedroom apartment at 242 East 19th Street, an Art Deco co-op building in Gramercy Park. Constructed in 1926 and converted to a cooperative in 1984, the 15-story brick Italian Renaissance-style building holds 113 apartments. And since many of the surrounding buildings are low-rise, there’s a great view from the building’s roof deck.
This apartment has the spacious rooms that you often find in prewar apartment buildings. It’s a one-bedroom, although there’s an office space without a window that could be used as a second bedroom. It’s up for sale for $1.2 million by owner and photographer Julia Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri (known simply as Indrani).
This almost-2,000 square-foot co-op at 235 East 22nd Street in Manhattan’s elegant Gramercy neighborhood is one of those classic pre-war apartments–created by combining two units–that, when you look at the floor plan, is startlingly spacious. There are room-sized closets, areas for eating and dining, foyers, galleries and office nooks–the antithesis of the tiny NYC apartment. This three-bedroom home also has those charming and sophisticated pre-war details–nine-foot-high beamed ceilings, big rooms, inlaid floors, restored moldings, built-in cabinetry and massive casement windows.
We all know the space itself is what counts in NYC real estate. Quirky objets and freaky art will almost assuredly be bundled out with the departing resident, never to show hide nor hair (literally, in this case) once the van pulls away. On the other hand, though it’s sometimes fun to see what you’re not getting for your $2.4 million, any real estate agent will tell you that staging is no small matter.
Explore this sprawling co-op
Paging “Downton Abbey” fans. This Gramercy Park apartment looks more like an English estate than a New York co-op. Located at 44 Gramercy Park North (h/t Curbed), each room is decked out with extravagant features that manage to outdo the others. Elaborate wood carvings, soaring ceilings, stained glass windows, fireplace mantels with sculpture work, the list goes on and on. The listing says, “There is no other place like this.” We think they’re absolutely right.
See more of the interior here
It’s unusual for a small apartment to come with such a big private outdoor space, but that’s the case at this one-bedroom co-op apartment up for sale at 22 Irving Place. This Gramercy Park pad is cute on the inside, but even better with its 500-square-foot garden. Not only is it beautifully landscaped, with enough space for a table and barbecue, it’s also got its very own koi pond. How much for this little oasis in one of the most desirable neighborhoods of Manhattan? $999,000.
See the rest of the interior here
When we think of Gramercy Park it calls to mind stately 19th-century mansions, brownstones and carriage houses—and of course, the elusive crown jewel in the middle of it all, the park itself. But sharing the stage with the neighborhood’s turn-of-the-century aesthetic are a number of newer developments that have an elegance all their own.
Have a look inside