Gramercy Park’s vaunted historic district is lined with picturesque Italianate and Greek Revival townhouses that are protected by the city’s landmarks commission. But just beyond, aging properties with unique appeal mash up against contemporary mid- and high-rise buildings. Such is the case with 208 East 20th Street, a charming carriage house between Second and Third avenues—just outside of the historic district—built in the early 1900s.
The two-story carriage house emanates a downtown Bohemian spirit of yore, perhaps owing to its use as Ozenfant School of Fine Arts from 1939 to 1955. (Together with prominent architect Le Corbusier, Ozenfant School founder Amédée Ozenfant defined the Purism movement that would come to characterize both of their works.) The carriage house has also served as a backdrop for ad campaigns throughout the decades, notably for Lord Calvert whiskey.
Nowadays the 22-foot-wide townhouse is divided into two apartments, both with their own entrance from the street. The ground floor gives way to a 92-foot deep apartment with 20-foot ceilings at the rear. What it doesn’t have in traditional windows—there is but one on the front of the house—it makes up for with two large skylights that bring plenty of light into the large living room. The room stands out with painted exposed brick walls and a wood-burning fireplace tucked beneath a sleeping loft.
The top floor of the carriage house is a studio that’s currently being used as an artist’s loft with a rooftop deck.
The utterly unique property, despite its artsy vibe, is now out of grasp for most Bohemians: It’s on the market with Corcoran for $8 million.