A Carriage House by Robert A. M. Stern ARCHITECT It is remarkable to discover that in 1975, a youthful architect, Robert A.M. Stern, was engaged to create a residence out of a preexisting carriage house for Leonard N. Stern. It was a complete reconstruction on Park Avenue, one of New York's oldest and most venerated streets.
FORTUNATLEY, THE ORIGINAL FLOOR PLANS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.
It is even more remarkable to consider that he and his firm, RAMSA, have since created some of the world's most celebrated buildings, and his residential projects include the famed 15 Central Park West, 520 Park Avenue, 220 Central Park South, and most recently, 30 Park Place at 937 feet in height, taller than the adjacent Woolworth Building.
PROVENANCE The carriage house was erected as one of three private stables in 1897, well after the railroad tracks were placed below grade in 1875. Its location on the block between East 77 and East 78 Streets made it ideal for one of its owners, who felt "the most secure way I could live in a townhouse was with two buildings on either side - there was no second choice." It also offers two sets of doormen standing guard.
ARCHITECT'S CHOICE OF AN IDEAL LOCATION While townhouses in our era are typically found on single lane side streets, the exceptional width of Park Avenue - three lanes in each direction separated by a wide planted meridian - offers the opportunity for exceptional light to pour into a Park Avenue townhouse such as this one. Further, rather than facing NORTH/SOUTH as it typical on a single lane street, the width of Park Avenue allows sunlight to spill into this townhouse because of its EAST/WEST orientation. This is unique in New York, and was also favored by Santiago Calatrava when he chose his Park Avenue townhouses here in New York. Further, unlike Fifth Avenue, trucks, buses, and parades are not permitted on Park Avenue.
THE BUIILDING - THE FUTURE Presently, this 25 foot wide townhouse of four levels with windows on all four sides, and full basement level - in total comprising 10,750sf- needs total renovation. The facade is the same one created by Robert A.M. Stern, and his original plan from 1975 is available. But it is also possible to engage this architect now, with the partners of his firm, to recreate either the plan of 40 years ago, or a new plan by the master who now has decades of additional experience to bring to the matter of the best interior arrangement.