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Tattered' Park Avenue Townhouse Wins Approval For Modern Overhaul

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The LPC has blessed the building's conversion into a single-family mansion

The decrepit Queen Anne-style townhouse on Park Avenue and East 78th Street, long since divided into rentals, will see a new life as a single-family house. Architect Shae Murdock of Murdock Salon Architects presented an updated plan to restore the late 1880s townhouse in the Upper East Side Historic District to the Landmarks Preservation Commission this week, and YIMBY reports that the commissioners have blessed the project, allowing it to move forward.

Referred to by the New York Times as "a fading gentleman in a tattered old dinner jacket," the house at 890 Park Avenue was built in 1884 by disgraced stockbroker Harry A. Groesbeck, and later came to be owned by an engineering firm which started dividing it for commercial use. Today, the townhouse is divided into several apartments.

Walter Schick purchased the aging townhouse from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development in 1997 and inherited several tenants along with it. As of 2012, word had it that Schick would wait until the building's sole 84-year-old tenant would vacate before charging ahead with work on the once-charming building.

Schick filed alteration permits with the city in late 2014, and has brought his plans in front of the LPC more than once. In they're initial showing, the commissioner's criticized the plans' bulky rooftop addition. This go-around, Murdock returned with a plan to rebuild the townhouse's entry stoop, restore the facade, add new windows, as well as bring in modern amenities like a pool, sauna, and wine cellar.