Bohemia in Midtown

January 7, 2008

Interior matra brathwaite 1 Comment

There are great apartments in New York City and then there are great apartments in New York City. Imagine living in a triplex with a second-story balcony and northern exposure. Imagine receiving an eviction notice to leave wonderful triplex apartment. Which is exactly what is happening to the remaining 33 tenants living in this artist’s enclave situated on top of the famed Carnegie Hall, who were profiled in an article in last week’s New York Magazine. 

Carnegie Hall Studio Towers

Originally, completed in 1896, the towers were designed to be occupied by working artists. The studios were designed by architect Henry J. Hardenbergh with high ceilings and north-facing skylights. Now the Carnegie foundation wants to gut these spaces and displace the remaining tenants to make room for “educational facilities”. Of course, many of the tenants have banded together to fight to stay in what for many has been their home for many years. Below are some images from these fantastic spaces. To read the complete article, visit here.

Carnegie Hall Studio Towers

Apt. 845
Josef Astor, photographer.
Years in the Apartment: 22.

Josef Astor’s triplex studio on the eighth floor of the Carnegie Hall towers has been his living and working space since 1985. It has a second-story balcony and a northern exposure. Astor is involved with the remaining tenants’ fight to stay in the building.

Carnegie Hall Studio Towers

Apt. 1208
Editta Sherman, photographer.
Years in the Apartment: 58.

Editta Sherman is known as the Duchess of Carnegie Hall. The sprightly 95-year-old has lived in her twelfth-floor studio since 1949. She raised five children while working as a successful photographer of the cultural elite. Dramatic black-and-white examples from her collection of 2,500 portraits are displayed against the mirrored walls and bold checkered floor: Henry Fonda, Mary Martin, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. A cast-iron circular staircase leads to a loft filled with studio props. Photographer and fellow resident Bill Cunningham enlisted Sherman as his model and muse for his 1978 book Facades, which fuses fashion and architecture photography.

Carnegie Hall Studio Towers

Apt. 1601
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, architects.
Years in the Apartment: 34.

Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have lived, worked, and raised a family in their sixteenth-floor aerie. Their studio will house an emergency generator if the proposed plans go through. Even if Williams and Tsien have to leave, they hope the space can be used by other artists. “It’s not about us,” says Tsien. “It’s about this place as a community for artists.”

Carnegie Hall Studio Towers

Apt. 130
Donald Shirley, classical pianist.
Years in the Apartment: 51.

Donald Shirley started on the eighth floor in 1956; he now lives, with his concert-grand piano and trove of objects, on the thirteenth floor.

♥ the alchemist

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