Welcome to one of Manhattan’s most architecturally significant townhouses, located on 70th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues, considered one of the city’s most beautiful and important townhouse blocks.
This 20-foot wide townhouse was designed in 1941 by William Lescaze, a Swiss-born American architect who pioneered modernism and the International Style of Architecture. It was built for Dorothy Norman, a photographer, writer and major influencer of 20th century art and politics. She was also the longtime love of Alfred Stieglitz, arguably the most important photographer of his time.
The elevatored 4-story townhouse is over +6,200 sq ft including a finished basement and connects to a unique 1-story studio building at the rear of its 100 foot lot. There is a central garden between the main house and the studio, plus a terrace on the roof of the studio overlooking the garden and townhouse. Ceiling heights are +10 feet throughout except for the entry and basement levels, where they are 9½ ft and 8 ft respectively. The townhouse was designed to maximize light and a sense of peace and tranquility: it is remarkably bright and gets direct sunlight even on the first floor.
Upon arriving at this architectural treasure, one is greeted by a distinctive yellow door with glass transom. The townhouse has an overhang which keeps one dry coming and going during inclement weather. There is a welcoming foyer which leads to a large and distinctive dining room. A huge south-facing picture window overlooks the garden and 1-story studio at the rear. A corridor also with a large picture window provides access to the sunny garden and 1-story studio. The studio makes a wonderful guest bedroom or home office and has a full bathroom, and it too features a picture window onto the garden. The large eat-in kitchen at the front of the house features fully restored original cabinetry and has a service door to the street. The adjacent wet bar has an additional dishwasher and refrigerator, and an exquisite powder room completes this floor.
The sunny parlor floor features a loft-like living room with fireplace and an angled picture window overlooking the garden and access to the terrace built on the roof of the 1-story studio. The living room also features an additional seating area originally designed for piano and home concerts. At the front is a library with picture window looking across the street to the double-width Mellon mansion and the other significant Landmark townhouses on the block.
The 3rd floor of the house features a wonderful primary bedroom, also with an angled picture window overlooking a wall of ivy and the garden and terrace. The dressing room leads to the primary bathroom with a deep soaking tub and separate shower, a secondary bathroom, additional washer and dryer, and kitchenette. To the front is a home office or additional bedroom.
The top floor was designed with 2 guest bedrooms, shared bathroom and dressing area, and small terrace overlooking the garden, plus 3 smaller bedrooms and a bathroom at the front of the house. There is also a large skylight at the top of the stairwell allowing light to filter down.
The finished basement has a large media room, wine cellar, utility room and storage, a room housing A/V and lighting panels, plus a large laundry room.
The townhouse is completely restored and renovated with state-of-the-art HVAC and custom lighting while retaining the vision of Dorothy Norman and William Lescaze. The current owner researched and implemented the exact colors that Lescaze used to fully capture the spirit of the house as it was intended. The townhouse also features the original furniture and built-ins which were designed by Lescaze for the residence, all carefully restored to “new.”
Truly a unique and beautifully restored masterpiece of the International Style of Architecture, this townhouse will take your breath away. There is nothing else like it in the city.