Anyone thinking about renovating a historic townhouse should take a look at 830 Greenwich Street, an 1830s four-story brick corner house (with an adjoining duplex studio) in the West Village which just hit the market for $17.5 million, because this is more or less how it's done. The house's owners, art dealer Matthew Marks and curator Jack Bankowsky, bought it in 1997 for $1.23 million—back then it was separated into six apartments and basically derelict, but they used that to their advantage by throwing a few years' worth of parties. Eventually, the damage became too much they decided it was time to gut the place and renovate the crap out of it. The result was impressive enough to warrant a New York Times writeup.
Marks' and Bankowsky's additions to the house included: seven fireplaces (one of which came from the estate of Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt II), antique hand-painted iron floor tiles from Scotland in the powder room, two vintage ovens, a gym and a wine cellar in the basement, and 29 mahogany-framed windows (for which they had to get Landmarks Commission approval). Perhaps the most impressive aspect is the duplex studio, which had been built as a workspace for painter Abraham Rattner when he owned the house at some point during the 1940s. That room, which features 20-foot ceilings, was redesigned to accomodate displaying large pieces of art and outfitted with tin ceilings, hand-plastered fresco walls, built-in glass bookcases, an antique spiral staircase, and a service bar with a vintage slate sink. So, yeah, $17.5 million sounds pretty fair.