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Behind the Facade At Minetta Lane's So-Called 'Salad House'

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These days the Salad House at 16 Minetta Lane is hardly distinguishable as the formerly ivy-coated residence of opulent event planner Robert Isabell. Instead, it's mid-transformation into something much, much different from the two-story, 1858 home even seen today. "It's never really had an identity," Adam Kushner, the home's owner and principal at KUSHNERstudios said, "In the 1950's it was Federal-style." Now, Kushner is undertaking an ambitious renovation that will not leave the house wont for personality. The architect's plan is to partly remove the home's triangular glass ceiling—an addition from later days—and append three additional, recessed floors. The new home, which will use the property's original house as well as its rear carriage house, will stand five stories tall at its front, and have some pretty daffy additions like a 75-foot-tall rock climbing wall, and a sculptural facade inspired by trees.

In addition to being the slightly kooky abode of Robert Isabell, the building has previously served as an 8-apartment tenement and as the private home of late Broadway actor Swen Swenson. When Kushner first started plotting out his take for the building, after he acquired it for $3.75 million in 2012, he filed permits with the city for renovation and just in time, too. The property became landmarked inside of the South Village Historic District in late 2013.

All in all, Kushner's new construction will add three stories and, between new space and space detracted from the already existing structure, about 1,100 square feet. The architect expects the home to be complete in a year and a half which, looking inside now, seems as ambitious as his addition.
· All 16 Minetta Lane coverage [Curbed]
· All Open House New York 2014 coverage [Curbed]