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A design legend’s Upper East Side penthouse wants $2.6M

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The apartment was once home to legendary graphic designer Ivan Chermayeff

A dining room with high ceilings has one large window, and a wooden table surrounded by eight chairs. There are three paintings on the walls. Photos by Michael Weinstein, Courtesy of Compass

An Upper East Side penthouse with a connection to one of New York’s design legends is up for grabs for $2.6 million.

The apartment, located at 140 East 81st Street, was once the home of Ivan Chermayeff, who co-founded the design firm Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. That firm is responsible for many of the most famous logos in the world—NBC’s colorful peacock and Chase Bank’s blue octagon, for instance—as well as the branding for many New York City institutions, including New York University and the Museum of Modern Art. (The firm also famously designed the colorful wayfinding within the subway station at Lexington Avenue-53rd Street.) Chermayeff himself designed the chunky red “9” that sits outside of the Solow building on 57th Street.

Chermayeff and his wife, exhibition designer Jane Clarke Chermayeff, once called this Upper East Side apartment home; he died in 2017, and she in 2014. Now, the co-op is on the market, and it certainly looks like the home of a design-conscious couple.

The elevator deposits you into a bright blue entryway, with the living space on one side, and a greenhouse that leads outside on the other. A renovation (led by Ghiora Aharoni Design Studio) created a double-height dining room that made a water tower on the building’s roof a focal point. There are two bedrooms (the master has an en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet), a 20-foot-long kitchen with hanging storage, and—best of all—a terrace that encircles the entire apartment.

This modern apartment is listed with Pamela D’Arc of Stribling at Compass, and is going for $2.6 million; maintenance is $5,871/month.

A kitchen with yellow walls and a long white counter, with pots hanging from storage opver the counter, and a small green couch against a wall.
A living room with bookshelves against one wall, floor-to-ceiling windows against another, a black leather couch, and several chairs arranged around a modern coffee table.
A hallway painted bright blue, with a door leading to outdoor space at the end.
A bedroom with built-in bookshelves along one wall, a wooden bed covered with a patterned quilt, and a wooden nightstand.
The roof deck has several potted plants, a small table with chairs around it, a small structure with one window that’s painted green, and a set of wooden steps leading from a door.