The famed pink house on Waverly Place in the Greenwich Village is getting a major revamp courtesy of its new owners, a celebrity design couple.
Cortney and Robert Novogratz bought the four-story house at 114 Waverly Place for $8.5 million in July, city records show, and have started renovating the house, according to Architectural Digest.
The Novogratz’s have extensive experience in renovating homes from the ground up: They’ve done it for years in the U.S. (including another Greenwich Village townhouse) and in Brazil. The couple and their family—who own a home goods line and have starred on TV shows including Bravo’s docu-series 9 by Design—will be moving into the house once it’s done in a year.
“We both feel the house has a really good aura about it. We want to keep that vibe—it’s who we are,” Robert told AD.
The house’s first floor has 14-foot ceilings and black-and-white checkered floors. The couple plans to add an open kitchen and dining areas that will face the back garden. The backyard will remain “as expansive as possible,” the couple told AD, to allow their children to roam freely around the house.
The master suite and other bedrooms will be on the second and third floors, while the basement will host an independent apartment of sorts for their older children, with a kitchenette, a gym, and a living area. The stairs will remain the same, but an elevator will be installed as part of the fix-up.
On the top floor, the “artist studio”—which has a fireplace, large windows, and a balcony—will be used to hold large events, the couple said.
Aside from being a neighborhood icon, the house has a storied, and artsy, past. Built around 1900, the landmarked Art Nouveau house was altered in 1920 by William Sanger for portrait painter Murray Bewley, who owned the place at the time. The house’s most recent owner was Celeste Martin, a onetime actress and dancer who passed away in December, according to the New York Post. Martin inherited the house from her father, a “frustrated artist” and real estate agent, who, according to the Post, was the inspiration for a character in the musical Wonderful Town. Martin’s dad appears as the owner of the house since 1978 in city records, while Celeste appears as the owner since 1989.
Keeping the house’s artistic vibe and history is top-of-mind for the Novogratz’s: “We’re trying to bring back a lot of the history of [Waverly Place], back in the 1920s especially, when all the artists moved here,” Cortney told AD. “It really became very gay and progressive and amazing, full of creativity and writers—we’re really trying to keep that, sharing the space with so many other talented, cool people.”
Most importantly, the couple will definitely keep the house’s noteworthy pink facade, albeit a little bit toned down (pending the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval).