The landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh has been designing and restoring college campuses (like Harvard Yard) and public parks (like Brooklyn Bridge Park) for years now, so perhaps he's tiring of doing any landscaping in his spare time. His former house, the petit townhouse at 31 Morton Street, has but a tiny side yard and no rear garden. Granted, the facade is partially covered in a cascade of beautiful ivy, but this house is more about efficient use of interior space than any outdoor beautification. From the floor plan, one might expect cramped rooms and a general feeling of claustrophobia, but somehow the interiors escape that fate, with light colors and wide seating. Of course, this is still just a two-bedroom—and the downstairs guest bedroom fits not much more than the bed itself, listed for $5.85M. That's a heady ask considering one could go around the corner to 75 Bedford and pick up a much larger house for $6.3M. Update: Just to be clear, Van Valkenburgh sold the house to advertising exec Kirk Citron for $5M in 2008. It was Citron (or his designer) who is responsible for the current state of the interiors.
· 31 Morton Street [Streeteasy]
· West Village House With a Famous Neighbor Has a New Look [Curbed NY]