Our tipster explains the wacky wildness going on here rather well, so let's just cut to the email: "So, a friend who is a huge George Gershwin fan decided to stop into the open house for this apartment on East 72nd. When Gershwin lived there is was a duplex, and he occupied both this apt and the floor below. Later they divided into two apartments. I was surprised by the price: $1.675m for 3 beds and 3 baths in that neighborhood seems pretty good. Even with the exorbitant carrying costs. But then I noticed the shaded area on the floor plan about a quarter of the apt, including one of the bedrooms..."
"This area has a ceiling height of less that 6 feet. My boyfriend asked about it at the open house. Evidently at some point they decided to raise the ceilings of the lower apartment, and create a rather unique situation upstairs."
Indeed. Amusingly, this rather unique situation isn't addressed in the listing's brokerbabble; you've got to click the floorplan to get the scoop. Meantime, the downstairs apartment whose living room benefitted from the extra ceiling space is asking $3.3 million for 2,300 square feet. Do check out all the listing photos; it's quite the glam decor.