In their new book, Rooftop Gardens, Denise LeFrak Calicchio and Roberta Model Amon showcase more than two dozen of the best private outdoor spaces in New York City. Now, for Curbed NY, the authors have done the impossible: They've narrowed the list down to the five most unique secret spaces. Here they are, along with some thoughts from the authors on what makes these urban getaways so special. For more info and photos, check out the Rooftop Gardens website. And tune in tomorrow for a chance to win a copy!
1) Sculpture Park in the Sky
Who: Lisa Perry
Where: Sutton Place
On this Ken Smith designed penthouse the plantings are minimal; instead the many works of art create the ornamentation. Prominently displayed on the west terrace is an oversized sculpture of a green diamond by Jeff Koons. Additionally, a pair of Murakami sculptures frame the view out onto the Queensboro Bridge and Roosevelt Island.
2) A Terrace of Grand Proportions
Who: Lynne and Burt Manning
Where: Park Avenue
This Park Avenue knockout has a 3,200 square foot terrace. The owners can entertain over a hundred people comfortably for summer evening cocktails. Denise sold the owners this apartment; they wanted a "funky" Park Avenue home.
3) Outdoor Entertaining, Day and Night
Who: Madeline Hult Elghanayan
Where: Upper East Side
Previous owner Oona O'Neil, Charlie Chaplin's widow, wanted an open pergola where roses could grow without blocking the sun. The current owners reap the benefits and catmint is planted under the rose garden. This opulent duplex penthouse boasts terraces on each floor, which wrap around three sides of the building with a conservatory on the first level.
4) A Park Like Haven with Dramatic Views
Who: Duval Family
Where: Long Island City
This vast terrace in Long Island City was formerly a metal foundry and was converted in the 1940s. There is a wide array of plants and trees throughout the garden; the variety is partly due to the fact that the current owners once had a landscaping business and they liked to rescue "orphans" they had removed from clients' gardens.
5) Endless Views from Olympian Heights
Who: The Silver Residence
Where: Time Warner Center
On the 76th floor of the north tower, this is the highest private rooftop terrace in New York City. The extraordinary vantage point offers incomparable views of Manhattan, the Hudson River, and New Jersey. Because of the incredible elevation, the furniture, sculpture and plants must be bolted down to ensure nothing blows away.
All photos © Norman McGrath, Rooftop Gardens, Rizzoli 2011.
· Rooftop Gardens [Official Site]