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Peeking At the Penthouse of a Cornelia Street Carriage House

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Back in 2010, home owner David Aldea went before the Landmarks Preservation Commission for approval to expand his historic carriage house at 23 Cornelia Street. Naturally, the design plans had to go through several iterations before finally creating a rooftop addition that couldn't be seen from the street. That was pretty much the last time anyone heard about the project (out of sight, out of mind, right?), but late last week, a covert tipster sent along some photos showing the still under-construction addition. The neighbors have evidently dubbed the structure the "Black Whale," and after being in the works for more than two years, the thing might actually be nearing completion.

While the rooftop addition was the only point of contention for LPC, Aldea's renovation, which began in 2009, also included reconstructing the rear facade and expanding the cellar to include a 30-foot-long swimming pool. Structural Engineering and Design magazine detailed the downward expansion, and if you're into "underpinning," "lateral soil pressures," and "horizontal steel walers," you should definitely give it a read. Ultimately, the bigger bottom added 2,000-square-feet of space to the house.

The upward expansion created an addition and steel pergola (seen in the photos from our tipster), as well as relocated the mechanical equipment. What we're not seeing in the plans (you can see those here) or construction photos, besides the pool, are the white marble garage floor and the white marble stairs leading to the pool. Our tipster calls the whole thing "a folly," and notes that the renovation cost somewhere in the vicinity of $27 million. Ouch. Aldea must have really wanted that swimming pool.

UPDATE: There was a misunderstanding before, and our tipster informs us that the $27 million price tag is actually what Aldea is trying to sell the place for. Rumor has it that Aldea was working with broker Leslie Garfield, but there's no listing on his website or StreetEasy. "I do know that the broker was showing it to other brokers," our tipster says. "He was trying to attract brokers that have a celebrity clientele." One celeb broker's name that was dropped? Raphael De Niro. Interesting.
· 23 Cornelia Street [GVHSP]
· Expanding a New Landmark: The Stable at 23 Cornelia Street [Go Structural]