The ornate gothic building just off the corner of 77th Street and Columbus Avenue was built in the early 20th century as artist lofts, with work spaces characterized by soaring ceiling heights and large north-facing windows. While some artists still live and work in the building—portrait artist Aaron Shikler produced work out apartment 4W for nearly a century—many of the apartments have been converted into glorious condos, taking advantage of the building’s architectural merits.
Such is the case for 44 West 77th Street’s newly listed penthouse, a triplex with a 16th floor turret once home to the building’s water tank. The apartment is owned by Mary O’Boyle, a psychology professor in Texas who combined two apartments to make the grand penthouse around 1982. All told, O’Boyle paid about $1.7 million for both of the units and funneled an estimated $1 million into upgrades on the 5,500 square foot penthouse. The apartment is now on the market with Monica Luque of Douglas Elliman seeking $15 million.
The apartment’s history shines in its 14th floor salon with 18-foot ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace, intricate woodwork, and generously sized windows. A dining room on the same floor comes with original wood paneling and leaded glass windows.
The apartment’s middle floor, the building’s 15th, is more contemporary, holding two of the apartment’s four bedrooms and an additional family room and kitchenette as well as a spacious wrap-around terrace with views towards Central Park and south down Manhattan. “It’s amazing to see how the skyline has changed over the last 40 years from that terrace,” O’Boyle told the Wall Street Journal for a recent profile on the property.
The building’s crowning tower includes another wood-burning fireplace and soaring ceilings. Throughout their time in the apartment, it served as a bedroom for one of O’Boyle’s four children. “Most people who go there to visit just never leave the apartment. It’s a really comfortable place. ” O’Boyle told WSJ. “That’s what I’m going to miss.” One thing the professor surely won’t miss: The monthly maintenance fees, coming in at $15,582.