With glass and steel towers dotting every street corner, New York has never seemed more like an urban jungle. Design, it seems, has only gotten more futuristic, leaving a shiny, metallic city in its wake that feels worlds apart from what it was even decades ago. Yet, a small number of developers are beating to a different drum. As the towers get glassier, these luxury real estate titans are grabbing hold of the craftsmanship of the past, where textured stone, handmade brick and skilled masonry techniques helped create some of the city’s most beautiful and iconic buildings. Let’s take a deeper look at some of these up-and-coming, yet throwback buildings that are offering a different type of lifestyle.
Situated in the heart of historic Carroll Gardens is 145 President, a rare new condominium that just launched sales in September. Designed and developed by Avery Hall Investments, a prolific young development firm known for its successful Brooklyn buildings, the firm’s design team took extreme care to create a building and aesthetic that is both timeless and warm, and that resonates with the location. With a nod to the surrounding architecture, the decision was made to utilize handmade Danish bricks by acclaimed brickworks Petersen Tegl. Being handmade, each brick differs slightly in size, color and texture, thus providing the facade with great dimension and depth as well as a connection to the neighborhood’s past. Featuring just 17 expansive residences and unprecedented views for the neighborhood, 145 President also includes a robust amenity selection for a building of its size.
211 Schermerhorn, a boutique Boerum Hill condominium hitting the market the first week of October, features a custom aesthetic by renowned architect Morris Adjmi. Adjmi, who famously made his mark on Williamsburg with the conversion of an old factory building into the celebrated Wythe Hotel, was inspired by Boerum Hill’s historic architecture and old-world charm when imagining the look of 211 Schermerhorn. His team selected a handcrafted Petersen brick façade and designed generously scaled casement-style windows that seamlessly blend with surrounding styles of the neighborhood dating back to the 1800’s. Residents will enjoy classic Boerum Hill architecture coupled with contemporary homes featuring top of the line materials and finishes – all custom by Adjmi’s team of experts.
180 East 88th Street
Situated in the Upper East Side’s coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood, 180 East 88th Street is a striking condominium being developed, designed and constructed by national real estate firm DDG. The company’s first Uptown project, 180 East 88th is inspired by the pre-war boom in high-rise masonry construction in New York during the 1920s – 1940s and DDG’s design team paid homage to the lost art of traditional craftsmanship while maintaining a modern aesthetic. The property’s facade features 594,443 handmade bricks from Petersen Tegl in Denmark. These distinctive bricks, which include the elegant, elongated Kolumba style, possess a thoroughly unique texture and color palette that reflect their handmade quality. The artisanal nature of 180 East 88th Street’s facade not only provides a welcome contrast to many of today’s steel and glass towers, but also provides a point of resonance with many of the pre-war buildings dotting the Upper East Side, while maintaining a modern twist. Each of the condominium’s 48 gracious residences features 9’ tall tilt-turn windows, soaring ceilings and a number of unique design accents including classic picture rails, baseboard reveals, and a formal entry gallery appointed with herringbone flooring, custom wainscoting, and plaster ceiling details.
150 Wooster is an extremely rare ground-up development on one of the last remaining lots in Soho’s Cast-Iron Historic District. The boutique 8-story condominium contains just six expansive lofts, including a duplex penthouse, starting at 4,270 square feet and $12.995 million. Five of the six homes offer private outdoor spaces. The building’s contemporary masonry façade references the neighborhood’s landmark prestige and is clad in imported Danish brick, handcrafted and stamped using 19th century techniques, and framed by piers of rustic Indiana limestone that accentuate large uninterrupted expanses of glass. At the 7th floor, the facade transitions into precision cut steel paneling and cornices that take classic Soho as a point of departure. 150 Wooster was developed and designed entirely in-house by KUB, a firm based in Soho. CORE’s Emily Beare is leading sales and marketing for the project, which is slated to launch sales this fall with construction wrapping up shortly after.
The Kent, designed by Beyer Binder Belle is a modern take on the classic pre-war building. The classic brick and limestone facade is punctuated by oversized windows and crowned by a series of steel and glass lanterns. The large-scale windows are designed to maximize views of the city and integrate ample daylight into the interiors. The building is shaped by a series of graceful setbacks, chamfered corners and careful articulation of the facade that culminates in a decorative metal, glass and masonry crown at the top of the building. The site’s four full exposures and prominent corner location created a unique design opportunity. Architecturally integrated metal and glass lanterns illuminate the building’s tower and elements of the lantern continue down to the base, modulating the street walls and massing to relate to the neighboring buildings.
20 East End Avenue
Located in the heart of one of the most coveted neighborhoods of Manhattan, 20 East End Avenue is a boutique amenity-rich condominium designed inside and out by Robert A.M. Stern Architects. The buildings design concept embodies a modern interpretation of classic pre-war architecture, with an intricate brick and handset grey Indiana limestone façade. Many residences feature oversized bay windows to maximize each home’s natural light and views of the skyline and East River, Juliet balconies, and numerous setback roof terraces.