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Socialite's $18.5 Million Gramercy Townhouse is a Fixer-Upper

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It was a long hard slog that involved numerous asking prices and at least one serial killer, but telecom mogul and nightlife entrepreneur Michael Hirtenstein finally sold his townhouse at 23 Gramercy Park South last year for $18.5 million. The buyers of the 27-foot-wide landmark were Colombian heir Andrés Santo Domingo and his wife, socialite and Vogue contributor Lauren Santo Domingo. Apparently they weren't completely satisfied with their purchase, because the house is about to undergo a serious renovation.
The house's proposed tweaks were presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission this week, and the advance LPC agenda said the application "is to excavate the cellar and rear yard, construct a rear yard addition, alter the front façade and to install a chimney flue." Curbed Intern Deanna Kawitzky took notes on the proceedings:

- Owners want to remove stucco from facade; build new windows; build a new door; elevator bulkhead on roof (which will be visible from the street); chimney flue will rise along adjacent building; plant two trees on the roof. On the rear facade, they want to install a new deck; build a parlor floor; excavate entire cellar and full lot. Top floor of rear will remain, everything else at the rear will be gutted.
-The Historic Districts Council said that it likes most alterations, except they want them to keep the rear double doors. They say that the design for the facade is "harmonious with the Greek style row house." The rear excavation, however, is an unecessary "risk" to the 163-year-old house due to the amount of digging.

-LPC said their plans follow all LPC guidelines, and that they are well thought out, well done. The rear excavation makes them nervous though, too. The plans were approved.Let's hope this ol' gal doesn't fall apart before Anna Wintour can party in the parlor. Here's a rendering of the new rear facade:


· 23 Gramercy Park South [Curbed]