Tucked in a garage-like building beside a gas station on Crosby Street, the sales gallery for Noho's newest condo building, the Schumacher, is atypical. It does not hold a built-out kitchen or look like a model unit; there's no full sized master bathroom or faux living room. Instead, the space looks like an art gallery. The Kallista bathroom fixtures sit on pedestals like sculptures, and printed renderings of the under-construction building, located just a few blocks away at 36 Bleecker Street, hang on the walls like paintings. But the unusual approach fits the artistic theme of the building. Developer Roy Stillman hired well-known gallerist Cristina Grajales to curate the furniture for the public spaces, and she brought in two artists to make work for the building. Designer Christophe Côme created the building's front desk, and José Parlá (whose work was recently installed in the Barclays Center) is painting a piece for the lobby. All of this makes it no surprise that the building has been a hit with art world bigwigs?one collector liked it so much, he bought two of the mansions.
[Rendering of what the building looked like in 1860]
Designed by the architect Edward E. Raht, the building dates to 1860, but through the 20th century, it suffered a lot of damage and when Stillman bought it, looked nothing like the handsome brick printing house that it originally was. Morris Adjmi Architects were brought on to renovate and restore the building, and during a tour of the sale gallery, broker John Gomes told us that the Landmarks Preservation Commission was so pleased with the plans, they approved the proposal the first time they saw it.
[Photo of the building in 2006 via Property Shark]
The work entails scraping off 50 coats of white paint to restore the brick detailing and rebuilding the pediment and finials that were lost by 1940. No one knows how or when exactly it disappeared, but Stillman hired a team of researchers who dug through old photos and discovered another building by Raht that was built around the same time. It had a similar pediment, so Adjimi used those images as the basis for the replacement pediment on the Schumacher.
Because the building was originally a printing house, every floor is reinforced with two inches of marble that was needed to support the machinery. As such, all of the ceilings are barrel-vaulted brick, which have been preserved in all of the homes. To draw a connection to the marble, the central courtyard is filled with marble rocks. Ken Smith, of MoMA rooftop garden fame, designed the courtyard with cables that extend from the ground to the roof. Wisteria will be planted to grow up the cables, and Boston ivy will grow up the sides of the building.
Currently, six of the 20 units in the building are still available: one 3BR "mansion" (with an indoor pool!), a 4BR penthouse, a 4BR residence, a 3BR residence, and two 2BR residences. The least expensive is unit 4C, a 1,132-square-foot 2BR/2BA asking $3.75 million, and the most expensive in penthouse B, one of two duplexes that shares the top two floors. It measures 4,546-square-feet, plus a 681-square-foot terrace, and is listed for $23 million.